Two Gold & One Silver For Australia At UCI Track World Cup In Mexico

Australia sits atop of the medal tally after collecting two gold and one silver medal on the?second day of competition, the first of finals, at the UCI Track World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday. Kaarle McCulloch (NSW) announced her comeback in a big way, teaming with Stephanie Morton (SA) to claim Australia’s first gold of the event in the women’s team sprint. Australia’s youthful team pursuiting stocks were on full display with a dominant performance by teenagers Sam Welsford (WA), Daniel Fitter (QLD), Alex Porter (SA), plus 20-year-old Miles Scotson (SA) and Glenn O’Shea (SA) ensuring Australia’s second gold of the night. Matthew Glaetzer (SA) claimed Australia’s third medal of the day with silver in the keirin. In other events, reigning Olympic champion Anna Meares (SA) posted the second fastest Flying 200m time of her illustrious career in qualfying for the women’s sprint, eventually finishing fifth in the event. The 2014/15 UCI Track World Cup series features over 200 of world’s best track cyclists competing across three rounds for points towards World Championships and Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualification. Day 2 – Event Recaps Men’s Team Pursuit Just last August, Welsford, Fitter, Porter teamed (with Callum Scotson) to win the junior world title Korea. In their first major international competition since graduating from the under 19 to the elite ranks, they were joined by reigning world champion Glenn O’Shea to record the fastest qualifying time in Friday’s session with 3mins 57.132secs. For Saturday’s finals, O’Shea made way for fellow reigning elite world champion Scotson – himself a junior world champion just one year ago – with the quartet clocking 3mins 55.375secs to defeat Switzerland in the semi final. It was a traditional ‘Ashes on the Track’ battle in the gold medal ride with just half a second separating Australia and Great Britain after three kilometres. However the Aussie teenage quartet showed their legs in the final few laps to ride away to win by over two seconds in a superb time of 3mins 55.976secs. “Our times were awesome. It was great to do two 3:55’s,” said Welsford who is relishing being amongst the senior ranks.” Racing at the world elite level is a great experience alone but to do with two senior world champions is unreal. “Learning and taking advice from Glenn and Miles helps the three of us [Welsford, Fitter and Porter] a lot.” Porter, a late replacement for Tirian McManus who broke his wrist last week, took the opportunity with both hands. “This is going to give me and I’m sure all of us younger boys a lot of confidence going ahead,” he said. It is big step up, going from riding at 4:06 pace to 3:55, but we put in a lot of hard work to make sure we where ready. “Riding with two current world champions made it a lot easier, because of the advise they were able to give us.” Women’s Team Sprint In an anti-climax to the exciting event, Germany – the fastest qualifiers in Friday’s qualifying session – were unfortunately forced to withdraw from the final with illness, with Australia’s Morton and McCulloch awarded gold as a result. “It is unfortunate, you never like to win that way,” said McCulloch. “But I think it’s a credit to Cycling Australia for making sure we have good hotels with good food. Those small things can make huge differences, so we thank our team management for that. The result marks a strong return for McCulloch, a three-time world champion with Anna Meares, who missed much of last season with injury. “My ride yesterday instils more confidence in myself, that I am on the right path with the right people backing me. I am really proud.” Women’s Sprint In the Flying 20mm qualifying, reigning Olympic champion Anna Meares (SA) qualified fourth fastest with a scintillating time of 10.623secs, the second fastest of her illustrious career. “I’m very happy,” said Meares. “Qualifying fourth in a season best and second fastest time of my career.” Reigning Commonwealth champion Stephanie Morton posted the 13th fastest time 10.921secs. Anna Meares and Stephanie Morton defeated Fatehah Mustapa (MAS) and Jinjie Gong (CHN) respectively in the 1/16 finals. In the next round Stephanie Morton was defeated by Elis Ligtlee (NED), while a crash saw Anna Meares defeated in her heat. In the repechage Meares and Morton both competed in the same heat, with Meares taking the win to book a spot in the quarter finals. A fast finishing Meares was unable to overcome Anastasiia Voinova (RUS). However the sprint finished on a stronger note for Meares. “I lost my quarter final but won the ‘5th to 8th’ final, but I have collected valuable Rio points I earned tonight,” said Meares. “So I am happy with my result. “I learnt a lot about some new riders stepping up and also about myself which is great. Happy to still be learning, positive, and happy.” Men’s Keirin Matthew Glaetzer (SA) won his heat to move directly to the second round, while Peter Lewis (NSW) finished second in his behind Matthijs Buchli (NED). In the repechage Lewis narrowly missed a spot in the second round finishing second to Denis Dmitriev (RVL). Glaetzer moved to the final with another win in the second round. It went right down to the line in the final with a photo finish narrowly edging Glaetzer into the silver medal position. Women’s Team Pursuit In Friday’s qualifying, the Australian team of Annette EDMONDSON (SA), Georgia Baker (TAS), Elissa Wundersitz (WA) and Rebecca Wiasak (ACT) qualified seventh fastest. Under the new qualifying format the winners of the 1v4 and 2v3 heats in round one move to gold. Of the remaining six teams including those from 5v8 and 6v7 heats, the two fastest ride for bronze. In their second round, the quartet posted a time of 4mins 26.064secs, missing out on the bronze ride by half a second. In the ride for fifth Cuba was no match for Australia as Cuba were caught with two laps to go. Omniums 2012 world champion Glenn O’Shea (SA) sprinted to second in the opening scratch race, behind Casper Pedersen (DEN). A consistent run for O’Shea in the individual pursuit to finish 13th in 4mins 27.898secs with Bobby Lea (USA-4:16.715) posting the fastest time. After finishing second behind Viviani (ITA) in strong performance in the elimination race O?Shea sits equal second at the end of day one. Elissa Wundersitz (WA) finished 17th in the scratch race, where two riders lapped the field and Malgotzata Wojtyra (POL) took first. A 20th in the individual pursuit with a time of 3mins 46.200secs and 17th in the elimination race has Wundersitz sitting in 21st position after day one. Text via Cycling Australia Media Release

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