Madison gold to Cameron Meyer and Sam Welsford capped an enthralling final day of the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup at Brisbane’s Anna Meares Velodrome on Sunday.
Australia took the honours for the World Cup after finishing top of the medal standings with four gold, three silver and two bronze medals across the three days of racing
Stephanie Morton grabbed her third medal of the week with silver in the keirin, while Matthew Glaetzer took sprint bronze in his return following surgery to remove thyroid cancer.
In a sour note to end the evening, Australia’s Annette Edmondson crashed out of the women’s omnium while in podium position, ending her run at a triple gold medal performance.
Australian duo Cameron Meyer and Sam Welsford won the men’s Madison in a thrilling race to collect Australia’s gold medal of Sunday night. The pair finished with 76 points, 16 ahead of New Zealand’s Thomas Sexton and Aaron Gate.
The Trans-Tasman rivals battled it out throughout the 200 laps with the Aussies taking five of the first 17 sprints while New Zealand lead the way in three.
After the 17th sprint, Welsford and Meyer took a lap to move 21 points up, however, the Kiwis dragged the lead back to one point when they lapped the field supported by the French pairing of Morgan Kneisky and Kevin Vauquelin who finished third. This effort pushed the NZ and French teams to their limit and they weren’t able to respond to the home team.
Meyer and Welsford took control of the lead by racing away to win the final two sprints in front of a roaring Brisbane crowd.
“We did feel a little bit of pressure and we did want to put on the best performance we could. To come away with the gold, we are over the moon,” said Meyer following the win. “To also win it with a fellow West Australian, makes it all the more special.”
“We knew it was going to be a tight battle with the Kiwis, Sexton and Gatey are exceptional athletes. We knew we had to get away from them,” said Welsford.
“For me to race with Cam, and rely on that guidance, and have the confidence that we back each other in the moment really helped. I think we took advantage of the moment where the race split apart and it worked in our favour.”
For the second night in a row, Colombia shattered the hearts of the home crowd in the keirin as Martha Bayona Pineda flew past Australia’s Stephanie Morton on the home stretch to claim the gold medal in a nail-biting finish.
Bayona Pineda skipped the repechage after finishing second in her heat and qualified third in her second-round race to book her spot in the top six before completing the keirin double gold for Colombia.
Morton comfortably qualified second in her first-round heat behind New Zealand’s Ellesse Andrews, then blitzed her way through the second round by winning her first-round heat.
The podium appearance secured Morton’s third medal in three events at the World Cup after taking silver behind Wai Sze Lee in the sprint race on Saturday night and bronze in the team sprint on Friday with Caitlin Ward.
“I am super happy, I hit all my process goals and KPIs I needed coming in here and even exceeded a couple,” said Morton. “On the progression towards Tokyo, I am ahead of where I thought I would be.
“Every race I have been getting fitter, I am feeling the fittest I have felt since the surgery. It wasn’t a huge surgery but it took up a huge part of my offseason.
“I wasn’t sure how I would come into the World Cups, but it just shows how much we have been working behind the scenes to get the body ready. We are back on track, if not in front, so I am really happy.”
Belgium’s Nicky Degrendele won the bronze medal.
The gold medal in the men’s sprint was taken by Poland’s Mateusz Rudyk after a straight rounds win over New Zealand’s Sam Webster.
Rudyk topped qualifying with a time of 9.428secs, before narrowly defeating Great Britain’s Jack Carlin in the ⅛ final and never lost heat as he cruised to the gold medal.
Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer finished with the bronze after winning in straight rounds against Suriname’s Jair Tjon En Far. Glaetzer qualified third, 0.176 seconds behind Rudyk before beating Spanish rider Gascon Peralta in his first final. He won his quarterfinal in straight rounds before losing to Webster in the semifinal.
“This is a big improvement from last weekend, and I was hoping that was going to be the case so I’m really happy that I was able to get deeper in the sprint competition and ride more races,” said Glaetzer.
“Overall we had pretty low expectations for myself, I missed the mark a bit in the sprint last weekend but I really came good this week.
“I’m looking good in the keirin and getting better and better, I’ve taken good steps of improvement in that event and to back it up in the sprint today was really good, it wasn’t easy and I was running out of gas quite quickly but I’m glad I got that one in two that’s for sure.”
Nathan Hart (Australia) qualified sixth, however, he was eliminated in the ⅛ finals.
In a somber end to the World Cup, Australia’s Annette Edmondson crashed while she had her sights on a third gold medal during in the points race of women’s omnium.
Edmondson, who took gold in the Madison with Georgia Baker on Saturday night and in the team pursuit on the opening day of the World Cup, left the Anna Meares Velodrome on a stretcher, albeit conscious and waving to the cheering home crowd.
Edmondson was later cleared of any serious injury but will remain in hospital overnight for observation.
Jennifer Valente (U.S.A) powered to the gold medal after a consistent performance in which she took two second places in the scratch and points races with victories in the tempo and elimination races.
“I think any time you’re on the podium it’s definitely a special feeling,” said Valente.“[it unfolded] one race at a time, with crashes in the scratch race and the points race, you never want to see a competitor injured so I wish Annette [Edmonson] all the best.”
Canadian Allison Beveridge finished in the top four of every event to claim silver while New Zealand’s Holly Edmondston rounded out the podium with bronze.