Aussie Focus

Cornish flies to secure NSW sprint title as track nationals crown more champions

A scintillating performance from sprint sensation Thomas Cornish on Day 3 of the 2021 AusCycling Track National Championships catapulted New South Wales to the elite men’s team sprint title.

NSW team sprint

NSW won the Team Sprint at the 2021 Track National Championships Source: Getty

Cornish, the third and final rider in the New South Wales team sprint train behind Charles Hofman and John Trovas, overturned a seemingly unreachable deficit of 1.4 seconds to South Australia in the final pulsating lap of the gold medal final ignited the Anna Meares Velodrome crowd.

The Sutherland Shire speedster posted the fastest final lap split of the day when it mattered most, with a time of 12.748secs.

“Full credit to the boys," said Cornish, "they delivered me pretty well, and we were within distance with one to go, and I just went through and managed to bring it home, which was good.” 

Victorian powerhouse Jensen Plowright prevailed in a skirmish with Queensland’s Liam Walsh to win gold in the elite men’s omnium.

Plowright, an Australian Cycling Team Podium Potential Academy member, hit the ground running from the get-go in the four-race omnium with a second place in the scratch race early in the day.

Walsh battled back in the tempo round courtesy of a spirited lap gain on the field. However, Plowright balanced the ledger with a win in the elimination race at the beginning of the night session.

A Queensland versus Victoria battle ensued in the deciding points race, but Plowright’s ability to find an extra turn of speed proved too much for Walsh, who settled for the silver medal.

The win gave Plowright a second gold for the Championships after he guided Victoria to team pursuit gold on the opening day.

“Good Friday night," said Plowright. "I had really good legs today. I tried to save them throughout the first three races, and in that last one, it was close.

"Liam is a great rider, and he’s shown that in previous events … so I had to step up and try to take those sprints which he’s quite good at.”

A South Australian onslaught from Chloe Moran and Amber Pate in the 100-lap points race capped off an exciting night of racing on Day 3.

Pate led the points for most of the race, only to have Moran take the title away from her at the final double-points lap finish after an opportunistic surge off the front with fellow South Australian Kat Chung-Orr.

The win secured Moran’s maiden individual elite national title and added to the team pursuit title she claimed on the opening day with South Australia.

“It couldn’t have worked any better for the team – to get a one-two is amazing," said Moran. "That’s the ultimate dream that we hoped for this race, and I just can’t believe we pulled it off.”

Rising stars Alessia McCaig and Daniel Barber each secured a third gold medal from three events at the 2021 AusCycling Track Nationals at the Anna Meares Velodrome.

National records fell by the wayside for the second consecutive day, with Barber breaking the U19 men flying 200m record held by Thomas Cornish with a time of 10.254secs.

McCaig, who broke her own national record, posted a time of 11.186secs and would join Barber in winning every match sprint to win their respective titles emphatically.

In the two other U19 medal events, 2021 junior criterium champions Lucinda Stewart and Cameron Rogers added another green and gold jersey to their lockers.

Stewart was a clear winner in the U19 women’s omnium, and Rogers pushed deep to take out the U19 men’s point race.

“It feels good but also pretty bad because my legs are dead," said Rogers. "I don’t know what I had left in my legs, but it was just there.”

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4 min read
Published 27 March 2021 at 11:40am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS