Cycling Australia national junior director Kevin Tabotta was delighted with the 15 medal haul that saw Australia finish atop the medal count at the weekend’s UCI Junior Track World Championships for the fourth consecutive year. The haul included seven gold medals between eight young riders.
"We came into these Championships expecting some good performances but we didn't come here with a medal focus," said Tabotta. "We came here to get the best out of the young riders and to give them an insight into the big picture of being an elite cyclist and how to use this experience as a launching pad to the next level."
Tabotta was pleased with the commitment shown by the riders and expect some of them to continue to perform for Australia at an elite level in coming years. "At the end of the day though we know there won't be 13 gold medals coming from these 13 riders at the Olympic Games," he said. "But it's wonderful to have a structure where we have depth and passion at both coaching and athlete level and that they all want to go forward.
"History shows that our junior development program produces riders who work hard, are well prepared and who deliver their very best each and every time they race," said Tabotta. "Therefore it stands to reason they'll do well and we're really enthused by that. It's great to see the smiles on their faces because the rewards have come as a result of the hard work they've done."
One of the event’s standout performers Matthew Glaetzer, who claimed gold in the men’s sprint and keirin, is one rider hoping to graduate to the senior squad in coming years. Glaetzer was also a member of the men’s team sprint squad that claimed silver, along with Maddison Hammond and Jamie Green.
"My hope is to make the Australian senior team and start mixing it up with the big boys," said Glaetzer. "I want to try and start pushing them and getting to their standard and putting my hand up for selection for future World Cups and major events like that.
"It's amazing I came here not expecting to become world champion and then when I made the sprint final I thought 'oh shivers I might be able to do this'," added Glaetzer. "It was a huge sense of relief because the buildup was pretty stressful, I was not sleeping and was thinking about it all the time but the race day came and the plan worked perfectly. Fantastic."
Australia's medal tally:
Gold: 2km women's individual pursuit (Amy Cure), 3km women's teams pursuit (Amy Cure, Michaela Anderson, Isabella King), Women's scratch race (Amy Cure), Men's keirin (Matthew Glaetzer), 4km men's teams pursuit (Jordan Kerby, Mitchell Lovelock-Fay, Jackson Law, Edward Bissaker), Men's sprint (Matthew Glaetzer) and 25km Men's points race (Jordan Kerby).
Silver: 3km men's individual pursuit (Dale Parker), Men's team sprint (Matthew Glaetzer, Maddison Hammond, Jamie Green), Women's keirin (Holly Williams) and Women's omnium (Isabella King).
Bronze: Women's team sprint (Holly Williams and Adele Sylvester), Men's sprint (Maddison Hammond), Women's sprint (Holly Williams) and Men's kilometre time trial (Maddison Hammond).