• Alexandra Manly celebrates winning the points race world title at the 2019 Track World Championships in Pruszkow, Poland. (Getty)Source: Getty
The Australian team finished the track world championships in Poland with six rainbow jerseys and a total of 10 medals.
Cycling Central

Cycling Australia
4 Mar 2019 - 10:45 AM  UPDATED 4 Mar 2019 - 5:19 PM

Despite factoring in the early sprints of the points race, Alex Manly knew she would need to take a lap - and the accompanying bonus points - to stand a chance for victory up against the likes of favourite Kirsten Wild (Netherlands). 

Aussies smash team pursuit world record in a night of raining gold
3:48.012! And there was plenty more gold for Australia at the end of rainbows in Poland.

And she executed her plan to perfection, propelling herself into the lead by taking a lap at exactly halfway through the race. While Lydia Boyland (Ireland) did her best to diminish the Australian's advantage, she had to settle for silver and Wild, bronze. 

"I can’t believe what just happened just then, it is still a blur, it is so super special,” Manly said. 

“The plan worked out perfectly," she explained. "I conserved energy at the start but still managed to get points.

“Then I recovered, recovered, recovered and when the moment was there I attacked.

“I knew I had to go for a lap as I knew I would need a big chunk of points if I wanted to be in the mix for the medals. I just needed to stay composed for the final sprint, and I did.”

On Saturday, perennial team pursuiter Ashlee Ankudinoff finally gained personal glory in the individual pursuit. Ankudinoff led the gold-medal match-up against Lisa Brennauer (Germany) at every time check, stopping the clock at exactly the same time as she did in qualifying, 3:25.971, an Australian record. 

“It is pretty surreal, normally I have been up on the top step with some teammates- that was a very special moment.” said the Sydneysider. “I have wanted this individual pursuit world title for a very long time, and I am speechless at the moment.

“I am sure it will sink in the next couple of days, for the moment I am just soaking it all up because it is a moment I never want to forget.”

It was the second title for both Manly and Ankudinoff in Poland both standing on the top step of the podium with Amy Cure, Annette Edmondson and Georgia Baker for the team pursuit earlier at the worlds.

That event wasn't enough for Baker and Cure either who finished with silver in the women's madison. 

On Saturday, Kaarle McCulloch earned her first individual worlds medal taking bronze in the women's time trial. She backed it up with a silver yesterday in the keirin, the perfect companions to the world title in the women's team sprint she took earlier in the week with Steph Morton. 

“With the new format of the keirins, I was unsure how I would handle it with more rides, but I got better with my execution as my rides went on. In the final, I had to get better at finding the gaps, and I ended up getting Lee’s wheel,” said McCulloch.

“I can’t quite believe this right now, the keirin is my last focus so it is nice to know that I can actually do it and encouraging as we head towards Tokyo.

“This is 10 years on from my first world title in Poland, I am still improving, I am setting personal bests. I love the environment here at Cycling Australia, working with Steph is amazing, we have a good partnership going on.

“We have a common dream heading towards Tokyo and hopefully we can sign seal and deliver that dream.”

Australia finished the event second to the Netherlands on the medal tally with 10 medals, and six rainbow jerseys. The team is tracking nicely on its way to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 with a top six in all but one Olympic event.