Australia's Olympic and Commonwealth Games cyclists are set to shine on Brisbane's Anna Meares Velodrome at the 2017 Cycling Australia Track National Championships.

For four days from 2-5 March, Australia's best will battle for 32 national titles and a coveted green and gold jersey.

It is the first chance riders will have to test-drive the new velodrome that will host the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. 

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Monday 6 Mar 2017

Adelaide’s Matthew Glaetzer and Sydney’s Kaarle McCulloch surged to win the keirin national title on a dramatic final day of action at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane on Sunday afternoon.

Fuelled by a disappointing early exit in the men’s sprint competition, Glaetzer tore up the boards with a clinical display of technique and power to take his second keirin crown and first in five years.

McCulloch sealed her first keirin national title in seven years with victory in a dramatic final which saw Olympian and three-time national champion Steph Morton crash heavily with one lap to go.

In the bunch races, it was a pure masterclass of points racing from West Australian Cameron Meyer as his glittering return to the track continued with his second gold of the week, while Tasmania’s Amy Cure sealed the Champion of Champions Award claiming her second gold of the week, this time in the women’s scratch race.

Queensland’s Lara Tucker, who hails from cycling legend Anna Meares’ hometown of Rockhampton, launched herself into nationals folklore with a four-gold medal haul and the Champion of Champions award in the under 19 category.

Overall, the Championships is being acclaimed as one of the most successful seen since the event last visited Brisbane more than 25 year ago, with near capacity crowds flocking to the state of the art venue.

Furthermore, in great signs for Australian cycling just five weeks out of the 2017 World Championships and 13 months from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the event welcomed returning stars, hailed new champions while unearthing a new crop of rising young talent.

Men's Keirin
A storming ride by 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Champion Matthew Glaetzer saw him claim a second keirin national title and erase the disappointment of an early exit in the sprint competition.

"After the sprint disappointment I was a man on a mission today," Glaetzer said, with the win sealing his tenth career national title.

"I was thinking my way through each race, made sure I made it into the final because I know how much repechage can burn your legs, so yeah stoked with that win.”

Glaetzer, in his trademark aero position, took control of the race from the front leading in to the final lap with recently crowned sprint gold medallist Pat Constable (SA).

Although Glaetzer was forced to start his sprint early, his pace was simply too much for the rest of the field as roared over the line for the win.

Women's Keirin
In a dramatic final Kaarle McCulloch (NSW) reclaimed the women's keirin title with an explosive turn of speed, with three-time winner Stephanie Morton (SA) crashing out of contention with just over a lap to go.

"It feels so good, haven't had one of these for a few years, to have the green and gold feels almost as good as those rainbows," McCulloch said.

The win clinched McCulloch’s twelfth career national crown and third keirin national title. It was also her third medal of week after silver in the team sprint and bronze in the sprint.

"I have had an up and down week, I was little disappointed with the sprint yesterday, I didn't think I executed that very well.
"So I was on a mission to come out well today and I think I did that very well," she said.

"When Steph went down, I thought I hit her head and I didn't know what to do, so I just went for it, dug deep and I got over. Steph is my teammate, you don't want to see anyone crash.”

A shaken Morton was taken to hospital for scans after hitting her head on the track, however, was given the all clear of any breaks or major injury.

Men's Points Race
Three-time points race world champion Cameron Meyer (WA) produced a masterpiece to claim his second gold of the 2017 Championships on his return after a seven-year absence.

Meyer, one of the most experienced points race riders in the world, delighted this crowd in a lap taking fest in the final event, lapping the field no less than four times on his way to gold.

"Very tired. That's four days of hard racing, and to cap it off with 160 lap points race is never easy. But it's the one I wanted to finish with, and I got it. I've never been Australian points race champ, so I’m really happy," Meyer said.

"It was exciting being out there, and I'm sure there's going to be some major highlights coming up on this track with the Commonwealth Games, and maybe some more National Championships. I'm looking forward to returning, and yeah I love it here."

Women's Scratch Race
Amy Cure (TAS) stormed to the line to claim her first scratch national title, sealing her national dominance in the bunch races. Cure claimed the points race on Saturday, in addition, her maiden omnium crown last December.

The dual world champion was well positioned throughout the race before unleashing her trademark finishing speed to hold off a fast finishing Kristina Clonan (Queensland) with teammate Georgia Baker (TAS) completing the podium.

"Really excited, happy I could bring home two gold, wasn't sure how I would go leading into this, but I have surprised myself, it has been great," Cure said.

"Such an amazing track, it so fast out there, just great to come here and grab two gold medals and a silver."

Sunday 5 Mar 2017

Women's Points Race

Amy Cure (TAS) claimed her first points race national title yesterday after a brilliant tactical display. While the world champion rider coolly controlled the 100 lap race, it was still a challenge.

"It was a tough race out there Kristina Clonan took it right to the end, then Alex Manly come home strongly in double points sprint, which made for an exciting finish."

Her victory comes off the back of three world cup gold medals over the last two weekends and a silver medal in the IP at these championships.

"I have had a great team behind me this week, it has been a bit hard with the jet lag, but it is great to have grabbed an Australian green and gold jersey.

"It was nice to do some PBs and get the Australian Championships record out there yesterday, and even better today to come home with the gold."

The bunch remained mostly together in the first 30 laps but the sprints were hotly contested. Newly crowned IP national champion Rebecca Wiasak (ACT) then made a move. The bunch aware of her talent never allowed her advantage to extend beyond half a lap.

At the halfway point, there was not much in it with Cure on 11 points, Clonan (QLD) and Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW) on 10 points, and Wiasak eight.

Cure sparked a flurry of attacks in the second half of the race and was quickly joined by Clonan and Ankudinoff. Once this trio was caught, Josie Talbot (NSW) and Georgia Baker (TAS) tried their luck but they could not gain an advantage.

Manly then turned the screws and looked like taking a lap, but Cure drove the pace to bring the main bunch together. Ankudinoff, Clonan and Cure battled for points on the penultimate sprint where Cure secured an eight-point lead before the finale. Manly scooped up the double points on offer to nab the silver medal (21 points), Cure held on for gold (29 points) while Clonan took the bronze (18 points).

Men's scratch race

Reigning team pursuit world champion Sam Welsford (WA) deployed his powerful sprint over the 60 lap race to win his second gold of the championships. 

"It was epic, everyone was on their knees after 20 laps. I think Cam Meyer had a game plan to hurt the field out there and I think he accomplished that," Welsford said. 

"Pretty happy with my nationals campaign so far, still have a big one on Sunday with the points race, and I think that is going to be very hard," he said. 

Kelland O'Brien claimed his third medal of the championships with silver, while individual pursuit champion Jordan Kerby took the bronze. 

Women's sprint - a close finish

Stephanie Morton (SA) edged out young gun Courtney Field (VIC) in the two heats of final, the second requiring a photo to work out the winner. 

"Courtney certainly put up a fight in the final, she was really impressive, it is certainly encouraging for the next four years that we have such depth within the women's sprint," Morton said. 

"Four years between drinks, I really wanted it tonight. It's exciting, the start of another Olympic cycle and I have started it off on a good note."

Kaarle McCulloch (NSW) took the bronze. 

Men's sprint 

21-year-old Pat Constable (SA) took his first individual national title proving too good for fellow youngster Jacob Schmid (VIC) in both heats of the final. 

"Yeah (the green and gold jersey) it's special in its own way," Constable said. "I ride for such a great country and we are very strong at the track. 

"To be an Australian champ for the next year is very special and I will be wearing this with pride."

"Two young guns coming up, good to see Schmitty in the final with me,” said Constable.  “It was an interesting battle too, we always have good fights in finals and semi finals when we meet. 

Ben Young (WA) who ousted Matthew Glaetzer in round one could not repeat an upset in the race off for bronze, Nathan Hart (ACT) just too strong. 

Men's 1km Time Trial

Nicholas Yallouris (NSW) moved one step up the podium this year to take gold in the men's 1km time trial with a time of 1:02.151. 

Yallouris who represented Australia at the 2016 Paralympic Games as a tandem pilot, continued his success on the single seater bike after claiming bronze in the team pursuit on Thursday.

"Pretty ecstatic, this is my first individual gold medal," said Yallouris who claimed the 2015 Madison title with Jackson Law.

"I have been trying for the kilo for a few years now, so after a fourth, a second and a third, I am really happy.

"It was great out there, super fast, it is a different track to what I have been training on, very long, it was very quick and some good times posted.”

Silver went to Kelland O'Brien (VIC) in 1min 3.573secs as she also claimed his second medal of the championships. With Jackson Williams (ACT-1:04.773) completing the podium.

 

Saturday 4 Mar 2017

The biggest story in another fast and exciting session at the 2017 Australian Track National Championships in Brisbane last night was the ACT's Rebecca Wiasak finally trading rainbows for the elusive green and gold. But many other big stories were still to come. 

Women's Individual Pursuit (IP)

Dual and reigning world IP champion, Wiasak took on 2015's national champion Amy Cure (TAS) in an exciting final that wasn't decided until the final lap when Wiasak stopped the clock at 3 minutes and 30.404 seconds ahead of Cure's 3 minutes and 31.017 seconds. 

Triple world champion Cure felled the Australian Championship record earlier in qualifying with a time of 3 minutes and 29.424 seconds but the glory of the green and gold title belonged to Wiasak.

"It is an incredible feeling, I have been chasing this for number of years. It is really special to put the green and gold jersey over the rainbows, and to finally win a national title," Wiasak said.

"I was feeling comfortable this morning, knew I had more to give this afternoon. With a few laps to go, I felt strong but Amy finishes really strong so you can’t feel too comfortable against her.”

Defending IP champion Ashlee Ankudinoff - fresh from a gold in the madison and silver in the IP at the LA World Cup - rounded out the podium posting a 3 minute and 34.186 second ride over QLD's Kristina Clonan.  

The comeback kid(s)  

Jordan Kerby (QLD) provided the other major story of the night taking out gold in front of his home crowd in the IP after a seven-year absence from track cycling. 

Kerby comfortably conquered the other comeback kid Cameron Meyer (WA) in the final posting a time of 4 minutes and 16.238 seconds to Meyer's 4 minutes and 18.541secs. 

"I picked up my track bike again in October and thought with the new velodrome and this world-class facility I might have a crack," said former dual junior track world champion Kerby. Kerby swapped the track for the road racing for Drapac from 2014 to 2016. 

"So it come off pretty good tonight - in the qualifying I knew Cam was the one to watch, he set a real fast few kilometres at the start,” he said. “It scared me a bit, and then I ended up bringing it home pretty well.

"Then the same thing happened in the final, he scared me, had to bring it home hard again.

“But I had my friends and family and everyone in the crowd, my coaches and everything, it just lifted me and I was able to bring it home.

"(Winning here) is an amazing feeling, my parents they never get to see me race, my grandparents, my girlfriend, my brother, at such a high level like this its just amazing.

"I’m going to try and rip the door back open and see what happens.”

Victoria's Kelland O'Brien nabbed bronze. 

WA's Ben Young in biggest upset of the championships 

Young edged out SA's Matthew Glaetzer in the first round. 

Glaetzer earlier posted an all comer's record of 9.760 seconds in qualifying but the sprint ultimately comes down to the duel and Young was just too good. 

"It was my most targeted event and for it to not go as planned at all is very disappointing. But I can't change the result now," Glaetzer said. 

"He (Ben) got an awesome accomplishment tonight and I'm really happy for him, he raced a really good race and I didn't quite execute as I should have.”

"With the quality of riders that we have at Nationals this year, it just goes to show that anything can happen." 

Along with Glaetzer, Pat Constable (SA) and Jacob Schmid (VIC) posted sub 10 second times in qualifying. 

In the men's quarter-finals later tonight, Young will battle Charles Hofman (NSW), Constable takes on Luke Zaccaria (WA), Schmid vs Thomas Clarke (SA) and Nathan Hart (ACT) will face Max Housden (NSW).

Fastest ever flying 200m time set

Stephanie Morton posted the fastest ever flying 200m qualifying time - 10.760 - set on Australian soil eclipsing the 10.782 seconds set by Anna Meares at the 2012 World Championships in Melbourne.  

It was no surprise Morton moved on comfortably to the quarter-final where she will face SA teammate Holly Takos. 

Kaarle McCulloch with the second fastest qualifying time of the night at 10.970 seconds also moved comfortably through to the quarter finals against junior world champion Courtney Field (VIC).  

Women's 500m time trial

Breanna Hargrave (SA) backed up a gold in the women's team pursuit yesterday with a national title in the women's 500m time trial. Not often a thing done in track cycling, Hargrave (35.034 seconds) swapped back to her sprint roots to edge out 2015 champion Rikki Belder (SA - 35.380 seconds) and Tahlay Christie (WA-35.586) 

"I crossed over from sprint almost a year ago, it has gone really well and enjoying the challenging and stoked to get this far in such a short period of time," said Hargrave.

"I'm still enjoying the sprint, think I might have gotten quicker in the 500m since. Felt very short, legs felt good and the track is amazing. Had a really good start."

Under 19 events  

Alex Martin Wallace and Godfrey Slattery claimed gold in the individual pursuit, while Lara Tucker claimed the women's 500 metre time trial. WA's Matthew Richardson took the men's sprint crown. 

For full details visit Cycling Australia

Friday 3 Mar 2017

Three Australian Championship records fell on the opening day of racing at the Australian Track National Championships in Brisbane last night. 

Team Pursuit

Men

Cameron Meyer enjoyed a triumphant return to the Australian Track National Championships as WA ended South Australia's seven-year dominance in the team pursuit.

Meyer joined reigning team pursuit world champion Sam Welsford, former world champion Michael Freiberg and Stephen Hall to post a new Australian Championship Record of 3 minutes, 55.988 seconds.

While WA beat the 2010 mark of 3 minutes and 56.834 seconds set by SA's Rohan Dennis, Jack Bobridge, Glenn O'Shea and Alex Edmonson, they did not dominate the final. The lead changed several times and the time gap between WA and Tom Clarke, Josh Harrison, Alex Porter and Rohan Wight never went beyond three tenths of a second but the boys from the west powered away in the last kilometre to take the gold.

The win was even more meaningful for Welsford. "It's very special for me to wear the rainbows here at the track nationals in your home country and obviously to pick up the green and gold jersey as well with a fantastic group of guys who got here," he said. 

His first national track championships in seven years, Meyer was part of the last WA team to win the team pursuit in 2009. 

"It's great to be here, that kicks off the championships in great style. That's more than we could have dreamt of.

"It beats a lot of times of previous best teams, so we're ecstatic and are looking forward to the next events now."

NSW's Nicholas Yallouris, Harrison Carter, Jordon Louis and Benjamin Harvey picked up bronze beating the ACT team with a time of 4 minutes and 6.276 seconds. 

Victoria's Godfrey Slattery, Isaac Buckell, Riley Hart and Jensen Plowright set an all comers record (4 minutes, 5.335 seconds) to take out the under 19 title over Queensland's Black Quick, Elliott Schultz, Connor Reardon and Alex Claires. 

Women

South Australia did dominate the women's team pursuit. Alex Manly, Chloe Moran, Danielle McKinnirey and Breanna Hargrave overtook Victoria (Alice Culling, Jemma Eastwood, Sam De Riter and Ruby Roseman-Gannon) in the final to successfully defend their title with a time of 4 minutes and 30.928 seconds. 

"I feel really awesome, it is a great feeling, to have my fifth national title, but it is even better coming in the team pursuit." McKinnirey said. 

"We had a great lead in considering, we trained really well as a team even without Alex who was at the Track World Cup. And then being on the new track, only a couple of days lead in was a bit different, but we are really happy to pull it off.

"We pride ourselves on our team pursuiting so it is good to come away with the win again. All four of us have a lot of experience in our different fields, all our strengths work really well together.

South Australia also took bronze with Maeve Moroney-Plouffe, Brooklyn Vonderwall, Hannah Osborn and Sophie Edwards, who also claimed the under 19 national title.

In qualifying the under 19 South Australian quartet set a new Australian Championship record of four minutes and 46.663 seconds with silver going to NSW's Chloe Heffernan, Laura Jones, Emily Watts & Emily Yeaman.

Team Sprint

Women

South Australia's Stephanie Morton and Rikki Belder broke the Australian Championship record in the team sprint with a time of 33.571 seconds. South Australia defeated NSW's Kaarle McCulloch and Sophie Knox in the final. It was the sixth title in a row for South Australia, and fifth title overall for both Morton and Belder. 

"That was our aim today, we really wanted to get that sixth title and we ticked that box," Rio Olympian Morton said. 

QLD's Lara Tucker and Sky Robson won the women's under 19 team sprint with a time of 35.358 seconds over fellow Queenslanders Alex Martin Wallace and Chloe Brewer. 

Men 

A fast final lap by Patrick Constable helped South Australia defend its title in 44.537 seconds. The youngster joined Matt Glaetzer and Ben Scholl to defeat Victoria's Jacob Schmid, Braeden Dean and Conor Rowley. 

"Yeah, it was awesome. First time riding together to date, with us three boys. We're stoked with the win," said former team sprint world champion Matt Glaetzer.

In the under 19 men's team sprint, WA's Kye Bonser, Matthew Richardson and Julian Krohn were too good for NSW's Tom Cornish, Zachary Marshall and Kai Chapman stopping the clock in 46.294 seconds for the gold medal. 

Women's under 19 Scratch Race 

In the final 50 metres, Tasmania's Morgan Gillon unleashed a beast of a sprint to claim her first national title. The parochial crowd brought home Alex Martin Wallace (QLD) for silver with defending champion Jade Haines (WA) third. 

For full results visit Cycling Australia