It may now be relegated to the realms of Olympic history but the individual pursuit rarely fails to capture the imagination of the cycling public, and at the opening day of competition at the Australian titles it continued to dazzle as Jack Bobridge came even closer to Chris Boardman's elusive world record.
The South Australian - and defending national champion in the discipline - rode the third fastest time ever in a sizzling qualifying ride over four kilometres. He posted a time of 4:14.427, knocking six tenths off the time set by Welsh cyclist Gerraint Thomas at the Manchester round of the World Cup in October last year.
It's also faster than the 4:16.304 time set by Britain's reigning Olympic Champion Bradley Wiggins during his gold medal ride in Athens.
The only rider who has gone faster than Bobridge over the distance is Boardman, who set the world record time of 4:11.114 at the 1996 World Championships in Manchester. That mark was set using the aerodynamic 'Superman' position that has since been banned, which means Bobridge is effectively the fastest rider in the world over four kilometres under the current rules.
"It is fantastic, to come here and do that today, after my form prior to January was a bit off," said Bobridge. "To be able to set a new personal best and quickest time since the superman position is an awesome thrill.
"But to come away with the win is the goal at the end of the day," he said. "This year at the Tour Down Under, I held myself back a lot and came out here a lot fresher as I have shown that with my times I have produced here," added Bobridge. "Honestly I don't think I am 100 percent fit yet, still a little bit off, which is a good feeling for myself knowing I have 6-7 weeks until the World Championships in Copenhagen.
"Considering I have only done three sessions on the track leading into these Championships, I have come out today and surprised myself," said Bobridge who has been preparing on the Super-Drome for the past week. "It has been perfect conditions for track cycling, so that's why you have seen so many fast times delivered here."
The ride has also given Bobridge the Australian and All-Comers record, wiping Brad McGee's 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games time (4:16.358) and Germany's Robert Bartko's Sydney Olympic Games time (4:18.515) from the Australian record book.
The qualifying round saw another young South Australian shine with elite debutant, Rohan Dennis, 19, clocking 4:15.764 to earn a place in the gold medal final against Bobridge. Dennis, who rode the heat before Bobridge, briefly held the Australian, All-Comers and Championship records but 10 minutes later Bobridge stole the show.
"When Travis Meyer pulled out a 4.18, it got me a little worried, but I just stuck to my schedule of 4.19," said Dennis. "When I finished, I was just over the moon when I saw the 4.15 thinking it should get me in the final for the gold definitely.
"I just had to hope that Jack didn't pull out a better time, but he was on fire today and did a great time as well," said Dennis.
The gold medal final between the two South Australians provided the main highlight of the night's racing, as Bobridge led Dennis at every kilometre to record a time of 4:16.313 - not the heroics of the morning but still an entertaining effort.
Another South Australian, Dale Parker, topped the world with his U19 men's individual pursuit qualifying time of 3:13.958, wiping more than 1.5 seconds off 2009 junior world champion Michael Hepburn's mark of 3:15.586 recorded at last year's junior world championships in Moscow.
He dominated the gold medal final against New South Wales' Jackson Law, setting a time of 3:15.760, although the youngster wasn't worried that he hadn't bettered his mark recorded earlier in the day - he was ecstatic with what he had been able to achieve on home turf with the previous junior world record holder watching.
Meantime West Australian Travis Meyer also broke the 4:20 mark, posting a time of 4:18.607 to qualify for the bronze medal ride against Hepburn, whom he beat for third place with a 4:22.845.
In the women's three kilometre individual pursuit qualifying Sydney's Ashlee Ankudinoff knocked nine seconds off her personal best to set the fastest qualifying time of 3:34.769.
She met West Australian Sarah Kent in the gold medal ride in which Kent prevailed, claiming the national title and announcing herself as Australia's best female pursuiter with a winning time of 3:36.981. Fellow West Australian Josephine Tomic took the bronze after beating Victorian Tess Downing.
The women's team sprint was always going to be the Kaarle McCulloch show, and the young lady from New South Wales didn't disappoint, winning the event in which she's the current world champion, partnering U19 rider Madison Law to add a national title to the rainbow striped jersey she earned in Warsaw last March.
|1||Jack Bobridge (SA)||0:04:16.313|
|2||Rohan Dennis (SA)||0:04:20.557|
|3||Travis Meyer (WA)||0:04:22.845|
|4||Michael Hepburn (QLD)||0:04:25.329|
|1||Jack Bobridge (SA)||0:04:14.427|
|2||Rohan Dennis (SA)||0:04:15.764|
|3||Travis Meyer (WA)||0:04:18.607|
|4||Michael Hepburn (QLD)||0:04:22.163|
|5||Michael Freiberg (WA)||0:04:22.863|
|6||Cameron Meyer (WA)||0:04:24.379|
|7||Luke Durbridge (WA)||0:04:26.200|
|8||Leigh Howard (VIC)||0:04:27.988|
|9||Peter Loft (TAS)||0:04:28.969|
|10||Richard Lang (NSW)||0:04:31.044|
|11||Mitchell Mulhern (QLD)||0:04:31.107|
|12||Benjamin Harvey (NSW)||0:04:35.342|
|13||James Langedyk (VIC)||0:04:36.729|
|14||Silas Fisher (VIC)||0:04:41.401|
|1||Sarah Kent (WA)||0:03:36.981|
|2||Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW)||0:03:38.033|
|3||Josephine Tomic (WA)||0:03:40.451|
|4||Tess Downing (VIC)||0:03:43.868|
|1||Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW)||0:03:34.769|
|2||Sarah Kent (WA)||0:03:37.442|
|3||Josephine Tomic (WA)||0:03:39.700|
|4||Tess Downing (VIC)||0:03:41.029|
|5||Alexis Rhodes (SA)||0:03:42.820|
|6||Amber Halliday (SA)||0:03:44.083|
|7||Helen Kelly (VIC)||0:03:44.418|
|8||Rachel Neylan (SA)||0:03:44.648|
|9||Melissa Hoskins (WA)||0:03:47.622|
|10||Miranda Laidlaw (VIC)||0:03:51.411|
|11||Sophie Ootes (SA)||0:03:51.864|
|1||Dale Parker (SA)||0:03:15.760|
|2||Jackson Law (NSW)||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|3||Mitchell Lovelock-Fay (ACT)||0:03:22.531|
|4||Edward Bissaker (ACT)||0:03:28.528|
|1||Dale Parker (SA)||0:03:13.958|
|2||Jackson Law (NSW)||0:03:19.918|
|3||Edward Bissaker (ACT)||0:03:20.406|
|4||Mitchell Lovelock-Fay (ACT)||0:03:20.958|
|5||Jordan Kerby (QLD)||0:03:21.883|
|6||Alexander Edmondson (SA)||0:03:24.160|
|7||Mitchell Benson (WA)||0:03:24.179|
|8||Damien Howson (SA)||0:03:24.182|
|9||Oliver Le Grice (VIC)||0:03:24.304|
|10||Julian Bissett (WA)||0:03:26.083|
|11||Luke Ockerby (TAS)||0:03:26.317|
|12||Harry Crothers-Bade (VIC)||0:03:28.362|
|13||David Edwards (QLD)||0:03:28.369|
|14||Angus Tobin (NSW)||0:03:31.030|
|15||Shaun O'callaghan (VIC)||0:03:31.224|
|16||Bradley Robson (WA)||0:03:33.165|
|17||George Tansley (SA)||0:03:34.248|
|18||Jared Triggs (NSW)||0:03:35.368|
|19||Trent Hudson (QLD)||0:03:36.695|
|20||Tatham White (QLD)||0:03:38.510|
|21||Joshua Cornish (NSW)||0:03:39.224|
|22||Nicholas Graham-Dawson (WA)||0:03:40.038|
|DSQ||Brent Nelson (VIC)||0:03:23.143|
|1||Amy Cure (TAS)||0:02:25.661|
|2||Michaela Anderson (WA)||0:02:25.675|
|3||Isabella King (WA)||0:02:26.073|
|4||Jessica Allen (WA)||0:02:30.021|
|1||Amy Cure (TAS)||0:02:25.283|
|2||Michaela Anderson (WA)||0:02:25.754|
|3||Isabella King (WA)||0:02:27.165|
|4||Jessica Allen (WA)||0:02:29.601|
|5||Letitia Custance (SA)||0:02:32.328|
|6||Sinead Noonan (SA)||0:02:34.010|
|7||Natalie East (QLD)||0:02:34.319|
|8||Shannon Mccurley (VIC)||0:02:35.184|
|9||Kirsty Mills (NSW)||0:02:38.257|
|10||Briannon Moloney (NSW)||0:02:45.322|
|1||Daniel Ellis (ACT)||0:00:10.266|
|2||Jason Niblett (VIC)||0:00:10.351|
|3||Scott Sunderland (WA)||0:00:10.373|
|4||Peter Lewis (NSW)||0:00:10.490|
|5||Alex Bird (ACT)||0:00:10.496|
|6||Gary Ryan (ACT)||0:00:10.532|
|7||Andrew Taylor (NSW)||0:00:10.629|
|8||James Glasspool (SA)||0:00:10.635|
|9||Paul Fellows (NSW)||0:00:10.801|
|10||Mark Glowacki (SA)||0:00:11.356|
|11||Michael Robinson (QLD)||0:00:11.370|
|12||Benjamin Wibberley (WA)||0:00:11.492|
|1||Daniel Ellis (ACT)||0:00:12.251|
|2||Benjamin Wibberley (WA)||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|1||Jason Niblett (VIC)||0:00:12.280|
|2||Michael Robinson (QLD)||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|1||Scott Sunderland (WA)||0:00:11.196|
|2||Mark Glowacki (SA)||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|1||Peter Lewis (NSW)||0:00:10.951|
|2||Paul Fellows (NSW)||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|1||Alex Bird (ACT)||0:00:11.103|
|2||James Glasspool (SA)||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|1||Andrew Taylor (NSW)||0:00:11.066|
|2||Gary Ryan (ACT)||Row 11 - Cell 2|
|1||Paul Fellows (NSW)||0:00:11.496|
|2||Gary Ryan (ACT)||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|3||Benjamin Wibberley (WA)||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|1||Michael Robinson (QLD)||0:00:11.194|
|2||James Glasspool (SA)||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|3||Mark Glowacki (SA)||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|1||Annette Edmondson/Stephanie Morton (SA)||0:00:35.769|
|2||Madison Law/Kaarle Mcculloch (NSW)||0:00:35.953|
|3||Apryl Eppinger/Jessica Laws (VIC)||0:00:36.161|
|4||Holly Williams/Melissa Hoskins (WA)||0:00:36.265|
|5||Catherine Culvenor/Clair Todd (ACT)||0:00:37.195|
|6||Rikki Belder/Sinead Noonan (SA)||0:00:37.828|
|7||Sarah Cure/Emma Lawson (TAS)||0:00:38.315|
|8||Cassandra Flugge/Samantha Wood (WA)||0:00:39.288|
|1||Madison Law/Kaarle Mcculloch (NSW)||0:00:35.675|
|2||Annette Edmondson/Stephanie Morton (SA)||0:00:36.066|
|3||Holly Williams/Melissa Hoskins (WA)||0:00:35.823|
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