She stands as Australia’s only female rider to have claimed four world titles in endurance events on the track, but Sydney’s Ashlee Ankudinoff remains in pursuit of one more victory.
“Olympic gold,” remarked Ankudinoff, 29, who made her Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Ankudinoff’s pursuit of a second Australian Olympic Team selection gains momentum in December at the 2019-2020 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup.
The Australian Cycling Team’s best will battle for gold across the three-day event which acts the penultimate round of the World Cup Series and the team’s last hit out on home soil before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The only Australian woman to have celebrated three times on the top step of the World Championships team pursuit podium, Ankudinoff first tasted success as a nineteen-year-old when she won the then three-rider event with Sarah Kent and Josie Tomic.
In 2015, Ankudinoff claimed her second rainbow jersey when she, Annette Edmondson, Amy Cure and Melissa Hoskins smashed the world record on their way to winning gold.
In February this year at the 2019 World Championships in Poland, Ankudinoff added the pursuit double to her resume with stunning performances in the team event with Annette Edmondson, Amy Cure, Alexandra Manly and Georgia Baker, before soloing to the individual crown.
“I’m kind of living in the moment as cliche as that sounds, I guess when I do step away from the bike, hopefully into a coaching role, I think I will step back and be able to say ‘hey, I’ve had a really good career’,” the reserved Ankudinoff said when asked of her growing palmares.
“I’ve been successful at the top for maybe ten years so I don’t realise what I’ve done at the moment but I’m very happy and couldn’t be happier with how far I’ve come.”
Ankudinoff will line up at the 2019-2020 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Brisbane with Edmondson, Cure, Manly, Baker (TAS) and Podium Potential Academy cyclists Maeve Plouffe (SA) who is looking to break through into her maiden World Championship and Olympic team.
At training on the eve of the 2016 Olympic games, Ankudinoff, Hoskins, Cure and Baker crashed during training at the Rio Velodrome. The team, one of the favourites heading into the Games, ultimately ended fifth.
As they charge toward Tokyo 2020, Ankudinoff revealed the internal push from her teammates is inspiring her.
“It is exciting, we’ve got eleven girls that are all pushing each other so it’s pretty exciting.
“It’s only going to make us better and it’s really cool to have eleven strong girls in the daily training environment and I look forward to the next twelve months.”
Before Brisbane, Ankudinoff and the Australian team will focus on round four of the 2019-2020 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup Series in New Zealand from December 6-8.
Ankudinoff, who has claimed multiple World Cup and Commonwealth Games medals on Australian soil, can’t wait to be back in front of a home crowd.
“It’s going to be a bit of a thrill, we haven’t had a Track World Cup at home for a long time, so to do it in the rainbows and in front of family and friends is going to be something pretty special. I haven’t stepped on the Anna Meares Velodrome since the 2018 Commonwealth Games so it’s going to be something pretty special.”
Brisbane’s Anna Meares Velodrome will host the world’s best track cyclists for the 2019-2020 TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup from 13-15 December.
Riders will battle for gold in twelve events across three days, with valuable qualifying points on offer for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The 2019-2020 UCI Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup was secured by the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland in partnership with Brisbane City Council via Brisbane Marketing and Cycling Australia.
- FRI 13 DEC: Team Pursuit; Team Sprint; Para-cycling Time Trial
- SAT 14 DEC: Men’s Omnium; Women’s Madison; Men’s Keirin; Women’s Sprint; Para-cycling Individual Pursuit
- SUN 15 DEC: Women’s Omnium; Men’s Madison; Women’s Keirin; Men’s Sprint; Para-cycling Scratch Race
Ticket prices for the morning qualifying sessions start at $10, while evening sessions tickets which feature the gold medal finals begin at just $30.
Family and Series passes are also available so you can catch the action with your friends.