Kaarle McCulloch collected her third gold medal at the Australian Track Cycling Championships at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome but her victory in the keirin came at the expense of 2006 Champion Kerrie Meares who crossed the line first but was disqualified.
McCulloch, who won the sprint and 500m time trial earlier this week, controlled the race from the first wheel position and tried to hold on from there. But on the final bend Meares found a way through and overtook her younger opponent on the line. However, officials ruled she had breached the keirin rules and disqualified her.
McCulloch said, regardless of Meares' disqualification, her own tactics worked against her. "I knew my best chance of winning today was riding the front where I could keep building the pace and I really would have liked to have won that on my own merit," said McCulloch. "But I just ran out of gear on the front straight so maybe next year I should try a bigger gear.
"It feels bloody good," said McCulloch, 20, of her medal haul this week. "Better than last year, I mean three golds and one silver, it's great."
Meares although disappointed accepted the officials' decision. "It's an unfortunate thing but I thought I saw an opening and I had too much speed and once you commit you can't really back pedal," said Meares. "But unfortunately for me she (eventual bronze medallist, Cassandra Kell) still had the lane.
"Rules are rules and it's part of racing, you have to cop it. You can't have a sad face about it," said Meares. "You have to learn by your actions and the rules are there to keep racing safe."
2006 Winter Olympic Games short track speed skating quarter finalist Emily Rosemond and Cassandra Kell were awarded second and third places.
See full coverage of the Australian National Track Cycling Championships.
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