The future looks bright for Austalian and New Zealand track cycling with the two junior national teams impressing on the opening night of the World Junior Track Championships in Russia. The two nations brought home four medals between them as they dominated the team pursuit and team sprint events.
It was the gold medal winning ride from the crack Australian pursuit team that was the standout performance of the night however. The team clocked a world record time of 4:02:632 in the final to edge home nation Russia by four seconds and defend the title they took at last year’s worlds.
The 'Cyclones', including Jackson Law, Alexander Morgan, Jack Cummings, and Alexander Edmondson never looked like losing after being ahead of the Russian’s at every time check. Sporting the traditional ‘bleached blonde hair’ of the junior track team, pursuit captain Law recounted the faultless ride.
"I tried to keep the guys confident, but not cocky - just level headed, and today I wanted to make sure they knew - we don't win until we cross the line in first place."
"We were just outside the world record in qualifying and we wanted to go out and smash the record, particularly as we were in Russia, riding against them in the final and the record was held by Russia."
"The clock actually stopped early on 3:57, so we were going crazy thinking that's what we'd rode. Then it was corrected to 4:02 and we knew it was still a world record so we were still ecstatic."
New Zealand rode to a creditable third despite posting the second fastest time of the night in their Bronze medal ride against Germany.
Women not to be outdone
In the women’s team sprint, the Australian duo of Adele Sylvester and Taylah Jennings won silver, while Kiwi pairing Stephanie McKenzie and Paige Paterson secured bronze.
It was the second medal in the discipline for both Sylvester and McKenzie, who won Bronze and Silver respectively in last year’s event in Italy.
The UCI Junior Track Championships are being held in Russia from the 17th-21st August.