Australian cyclists collected a gold, a silver and two bronze medals at the Laoshan Velodrome during the UCI Track World Cup in Beijing, China. That puts the nation "largely on schedule" in its Olympic Games qualification campaign according to Cycling Australia's Head Track Coach, Martin Barras. In home turf on Sydney last weekend, Australia took home nine medals, topping the count there.
"Despite the fact the medal count is a little lower than last weekend we're pretty much hitting most, not all, but most of the marks we wanted to hit at this point in time," said Barras. "We're slightly ahead of where we thought we would be in some areas but there are a couple of areas of concern that we need to address rather urgently."
At the top of the priority list is the Madison qualification. Australia has won gold in the event at the past two Olympic Games, but it has to gain any points toward qualification in 2008. To earn a start, Australia must be ranked in the top 13 nations.
"We believe we have the riders to run a very successful Madison at the Olympics but in the lead up not everyone is available at the same time because of commitments to professional teams and that puts our qualification in jeopardy," said Barras. "All other areas are on track or close to on track."
In Beijing, duo Luke Roberts and Allan Davis qualified for the final but finished 16th and out of range for ranking points. The pair's efforts weren't helped when Davis crashed during the event badly bruising his right knee.
Australia is well positioned for the pursuit, scratch and points races. "Very clearly Katie Mactier winning the individual pursuit two weeks in a row has set her up as a favourite for the World Championships and has gone a long way to ensuring her qualification for Beijing," said Barras. "I'm also extremely pleased with the performances of Belinda Goss in the scratch (silver medal) and points (fourth place) races.
"She bounced back from a bad first experience at the Worlds earlier this year, has gone from strength to strength since then and put in some impressive performances both here and in Sydney," he said. "Also it's exciting to watch Cameron Meyer who is so full of promise and who week in and week out just keeps delivering the goods." Meyer took bronze in the points race.
For full coverage of the UCI Track World Cup in Beijing, click here.
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