After the final racing of the Australian Track Championships finished, Australia's National Track Coach Martin Barras believes the overall situation of his athletes is looking 'satisfactory' heading into the Commonwealth Games. Two athletes in particular stand out as near certainties for gold medals.
"Mactier [Katie] I think is a standout ," said Barras. "Kate Bates would be right next to it - after that, everything else we're going to have to fight for." Barras was also impressed with the performances of the Meares sisters, and is confident Australia's track endurance riders will lift to another level once their current heavy training phase comes to an end.
While Australia's team pursuit riders didn't exactly stand out at the National Championships, Barras believes their performances will lift significantly. "We've got good depth, we've got good riders, quite a few riders that we've been preparing and training for quite a few years to take over from the big names," Barras said. "But we're also meeting the very stiffest opposition in the world when we go to the Commonwealth Games. The Brits are coming with their very best their strongest team, with the exception of Wiggins, so we need to be good, we need to be ready just to be a close match."
The concern at this point is Australia's stocks in the men's sprints, with concerns still over Shane Kelly (who didn't race at the National Championships) and Ryan Bayley, who is yet to find anywhere near top form. "He's got a lot of refining to do in terms of his preparation and he knows that and he understands that," Barras said. "What I was saying about the men's sprint applies to him specifically; there's a lot of work that needs to be done between now and the Games."