Australia ends World's campaign with five medals

Australia ended its campaign at the Track Cycling World Championships with one gold, two silver and...

Australia ended its campaign at the Track Cycling World Championships with one gold, two silver and two bronze medals. The result placed the Cyclones equal second with France for total medals won while Great Britain topped the count with six. The Netherlands, with three gold and one silver, topped the medal table with Australia ranked sixth.

Head Coach Martin Barras says the proximity of the World Championships to the Commonwealth Games, where Australian cyclists dominated, had an impact on the team here in Bordeaux. "It was difficult and we saw the same thing with the Brits in a couple of events where they did not perform as well as they would have liked and they agree their riders, like ours, had a little bit of trouble mentally backing up here," said Barras. "But essentially our goal was Melbourne and we nailed that objective.

"Having said that, we had some outstanding results, in particular the team pursuit win and Anna Meares' silver in the 500m," he said. "Katie Mactier responded like the great champion she is in the individual pursuit to come back from a bad ride in qualifying to post the fastest of the competition to win her bronze medal.

"The early hiccup was more an indication of the Commonwealth Games lag than a reflection of her form and that was also the case for Ben Kersten who rode brilliantly in Melbourne but admits he was a little off his best here."

Barras believes overall these Championships have identified some areas that need work as the team heads towards the Beijing Olympic Games.

"Although we have again demonstrated the ability to medal in both sprint and endurance events and men's and women's there are signs the depth we have enjoyed for the last four or five years is perhaps not there and that is important for us to realise," said Barras. "We now know where the effort needs to be made and where the rest of the world is caching up and that will help us immensely as we prepare for Beijing and for our overall future management of the team."

The final day of competition didn't yield any medals for Australia as both Anna and Kerrie Meares failed to qualify for the keirin final. Kate Bates, still suffering the effects of a flu that has stymied her Bordeaux campaign, managed 10th in a lacklustre women's scratch race and the Madison pairing of Simon Clarke and Sean Finning, who came in at the last minute as a replacement for an ill Miles Olman, finished eighth.

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