Four gold for Australia at third round of UCI Track World Cup
3 December 2018
CYCLING: The Australian Cycling Team grabbed four gold and two silver medals at the third round of the UCI Track World Cup in Berlin, Germany this weekend.
World record holders Samuel Welsford, Alexander Porter, Leigh Howard and Kelland O'Brien, plus Cameron Scott claimed team pursuit gold while reigning world champion Matthew Glaetzer continued his unbeaten run in the sprint.
Stephanie Morton claimed her first individual gold of the season and Sam Welsford added omnium gold to his tally.
Th event continues the team’s strong start to the six-event World Cup series which began in October, with Australia topping the medal tally in Paris claiming three gold, three silver and two bronze medals, before adding four medals, including two gold at round two in Canada.
"This World Cup was another good benchmark for the Australian Cycling Team and shows we are progressing well and currently on track," said Simon Jones, Performance Director, Cycling Australia.
"There is still a lot of work to do, but it’s good to score UCI points and be competing well."
World record holders Samuel Welsford, Alexander Porter, Leigh Howard and Kelland O'Brien, lined up in the team pursuit for the first time since April’s Commonwealth Games where they stunned the world with the first sub three minute-fifty second ride in the event’s history.
In Berlin, the quartet topped qualifying (3:53.426), and with Cameron Scott coming into the team for the first round, progressed to the final with a strong win (3:53.033) over rivals and Olympic champions Great Britain.
“It was great to line up again with the boys,” said Welsford.
“We gel so well and to come back together and post a good time is a good sign we are on the right path.”
It was a successful weekend for Welsford who claimed dual gold in Germany with a come-from-behind victory in the final race of the four-race omnium.
“The omnium was a bit of a surprise; I haven't raced one at the world level since the World Championships in 2017, so to come away with the win was surreal. It came down to the last points race and luckily enough, I had good legs to take it out.”
In the women’s team pursuit, Amy Cure and Annette Edmondson rejoined the squad for the first time since April’s Commonwealth Games, and with Ashlee Ankudinoff and Georgia Baker, won silver.
Stephanie Morton topped sprint qualifying with her first career sub 10.5 second ride in the flying 200m (10.484seconds) before riding away to her first individual gold at World Cup level.
“After a few silvers, to finally turn it around and get my first sprint win at a World Cup, it is unreal,” said Morton, who collected five medals from six events across the first two rounds of the 2018/19 season in October.
Reigning world champion Matthew Glaetzer’s unbeaten run in the sprint this World Cup season remains intact with his third gold medal.
“Today was one of the hardest sprint competitions I have done,” said Glaetzer, who revealed he is in the middle of a training block.
“We had our first race for gold and when I was able to roll him up the front straight, it showed I still had just enough legs left to get the job done, so I made sure I didn't go to the best of three again!”
In other results, young guns Kelland O’Brien and Cameron Scott claimed fifth in the Madison, while Annette Edmondson was fourth in the omnium, and Ashlee Ankudinoff and Amy Cure finished sixth in the women’s Madison.
Morton and Glaetzer will now move on to the UCI Track World Cup's fourth round to be held in London from December 14.
All other members of the Australian Cycling Team will be back in action on home soil at the 2019 Cycling Australia Track National Championships which begin in Melbourne on Thursday 13 December at DISC Velodrome with the Para-cycling Nationals.
The Omnium Nationals cap the week on Friday 14 December, with Melbourne Arena to host a massive night of racing on Saturday 15 December headlined by the Madison, Team Sprint and Team Pursuit Nationals.