• Simon Jones (C) with some of the riders who will be expected to perform through to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Getty)Source: Getty
Cycling Australia's new high-performance director Simon Jones knows his strategy will face its first real test at the Commonwealth Games.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
AAP
5 Feb 2018 - 8:54 AM  UPDATED 5 Feb 2018 - 9:46 AM

Jones says Matthew Glaetzer and Stephanie Morton are capable of leading the charge as the organisation's fresh approach awaits its first big test in April.

The Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast will mark one year in the job for the former British Cycling and Team Sky coach and sports science guru, and Jones admits the process of refinement has been a tender one.

Gigante's hot summer continues with triple track medal haul
As if three road national titles this summer wasn't enough, Sarah Gigante added three track gold medals to the tally, winning the third on the final day of the 2018 Australian Track National Championships. Matthew Glaetzer, Stephanie Morton, Amy Cure and Kelland O'Brien also bagged more gold bling at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane.

But after watching the track nationals at Anna Meares Velodrome since Thursday, he's confident Australia remains on target for the eight Commonwealth Games gold and four Tokyo Olympic gold he outlined in his high-performance strategy last October.

Australia managed only a silver and a bronze in Rio to put them 13th on the cycling medal tally - their worst result of the past six Olympics.

Jones is intent on remedying that in Tokyo and as part of those plans will send just four cyclists to the Netherlands' world championships this month.

The rest will remain in Australia and prepare for the Commonwealth Games because that event is seen as the perfect Olympic dress rehearsal.

Sixteen Commonwealth Games gold medals, plus three in blind and vision-impaired races, are up for grabs with the team already chosen before this weekend's nationals and due to be named this month.

Welsford beats Kerby for tracknats pursuit gold
Olympic silver medallist Sam Welsford may have got the better of the reigning world champion but he still rates Jordan Kerby as the pursuit master and a key addition as Australia chases team pursuit gold in Tokyo.

Jones wants at least eight of those and 25 medals in total.

"It's quite a shift for some people but we're in it to win Olympic medals," Jones told AAP of the decision to keep several world champions at home.

"This year is about having that rehearsal at the Commonwealth Games.

"We've got a new team and staff with new roles so this is the year for us to refine the focus - it really feels like a fresh approach."

Glaetzer set the fastest 1km time trial time at sea level on the meet's opening day before adding sprint and keirin crowns at the weekend.

Glaetzer blitzes sub-minute kilo at track nationals
Matthew Glaetzer has bettered his own record mark in the 1km time trial to win his 11th national cycling title on the track in Brisbane.

Morton was upset by mate and rival Kaarle McCulloch in Friday's time trial before also clinching the sprint and keirin double.

The pair finished the weekend with seven golds between them.

"In terms of the way they (Glaetzer and Morton) lead, they train hard, are very disciplined and lead by example," Jones said, pointing to the installation of more leadership and culture programs once the team is named.

Morton, Glaetzer win tracknats sprint golds
Stephanie Morton has defended her women's national sprint title with ease, while Matthew Glaetzer has added to his golden haul in the men's event.

Sunday's scratch champion Amy Cure, as well as Kaarle McCulloch, Rebecca Wiasak, Annette Edmondson, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Alexandra Manly, are also strong gold medal chances if selected.

Nathan Hart, Rohan Wight, Cameron Meyer, Alex Porter, Kelland O'Brien, Jordan Kerby and Sam Welsford join Glaetzer as the men's best hopes.

Australia can nominate 34 riders for the Commonwealth Games, but Jones won't fill the quota for the sake of it, saying it will be a performance-based selection process.