Mixed day for Australia at Track Worlds

Bronze for Meares but mechanicals for men's team pursuit

It was an opening day of mixed fortunes for Australia at the Track World Championships in Paris with medals and mechanicals.

It was a successful day on the track for the women's team pursuit squad of Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure, Annette Edmondson and Melissa Hoskins who set the fastest time in qualifying, with a 0:04:18.10.

While three-time world champions in the team sprint, Kaarle McCulloch and Anna Meares, claimed Australia's first medal of the championships, a bronze. McCulloch and Meares last rode together at the 2012 Olympic Games where they also claimed bronze.

"I can't believe it to be honest, I can't believe my times but can't be happier," said McCulloch after the defeated the German duo of Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel. "This is the first ride we have had for over two years and we weren't that far from the Australian record. Anna and I always lift for finals and tonight we brought it home and beat the defending world champions."

It was Meares' 24th world championships medal of her career, putting the 31-year-old within one medal of the all time record held by France's Felicia Ballanger

"Everyone's got their eye on it [the record] except me," Meares said. "I'm just out there racing and trying to perform at my absolute best. I do my work ethic well, I do my processing well, the results always look after themselves. Gold medal or not."

Australia last won the women's team pursuit gold medal at the 2010 world championships and last year's world champion in the points race, Cure, is pleased to see their hard work is paying off as they look to stop Great Britain's four year winning streak.

"Everything is heading in the right direction, but we are only taking it one round at a time, we have two more solid rounds still to come tomorrow," Cure said. "But we are happy with that ride. We have come in here knowing we have done all the hard work, and it's time to put everything together. And we backed ourselves and out team mates today and it showed in the time."

The team will ride off against New Zealand for a spot in the final tomorrow afternoon with the final to be held in the evening.

While the women were securing good results, a mechanical failure for the men's team pursuit squad of Alex Edmondson, Luke Davison, Mitch Mulhern and Jack Bobridge halted their ambitions of winning a third straight rainbow jersey.

Davison's right hand crank came off his bike just 50 metres into the qualifying ride, Edmondson suffered a rear puncture behind while Mulhern fell after clipping Edmondon's wheel all in the same sequence, forcing them to restart.

Having remounted and refocused, the team set off again and had fastest pace after two laps but slowly faded to finish in fifth place with a time of 0:03:58.900, leaving them unable to ride off for the gold medal.

"[It was] a bit of bad luck at the start, bit of a mishap, but it can happen to anyone, any team at any moment," Bobridge said. "I think everyone handled it quite well, and now we know have a job to do tomorrow. That is, we go out again and do our best again."

Australia will face France, who finished eighth, with the two fastest times from the sixth to eighth teams to ride off for the bronze medal on Thursday evening.

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