Day 1 Report: Anna Meares wins her 30th national title

On the opening night of the Australian track nationals it was South Australia's Anna Meares claiming her 30th national title with victory in the women's time trial Women 500m Time Trial that was the talk of the track.

Women's 500m time trial
At the Adelaide Super-drome on Wednesday evening, Anna Meares (SA) added a sixth national title in the event she has already made her own – the women's 500m time trial but it was almost disaster for Meares as her back wheel slipped on the track as she powered out of the gates, forcing her knee into the handlebars.

However Meares recovered to post 34.682secs to take the gold, with Victoria's Caitlin Ward (35.263) and Canberra's Catherine Culvenor (35.734) rounding out the podium.

"I really wanted this one to go nice and smoothly as it was national title number 30," said Meares, who became the first woman in history to break the 33-second barrier (32.836secs) at December's UCI Track World Cup.

"The perfectionist in me is a little disappointed, even though I was able to win, as I wanted people to see this is what I have been working hard for," Meares said.

"Although I already have my spot qualified up for the world championships, this event is always important and in particularly front of a home crowd."

Meares will now turn her attentions to the sprint (Friday) and keirin (Saturday) and is anticipating a strong battle. "It will be a tough tussle with (Taylah) Jennings and (Steph) Morton in the mix, and with number of riders stepping up from the junior ranks, it has really started to swell out the elite women's field."

Men 4000m Individual Pursuit
In the final of the men's 4000m individual pursuit, it was a battle royale between one half of Australia's team pursuit world champion quartet in Alex Edmondson (SA) and Alex Morgan (VIC).
In the final, Edmondson bettered his new mark by almost one second, crossing the line in 4mins 20.340secs, three seconds ahead of Morgan (4:23.854).

"It was one of my goals to knock this off, so to come out here and wear the green and gold (is great) and to be able to ride two personal bests on the way to clinching the gold, I'm happy with it," said Edmondson.

"(Morgan and I) are so close off and on the bike (so it's) pretty cool to be able to beat him on the bike, but at the same time I knew he was going to be hard to beat, but I'm so glad to come out on top."

Edmondson, 20-years-old, now holds five national track titles, the 2014 omnium and Madison titles won in Melbourne last December, plus the 2013 points and team pursuit titles which he will defend later this week.

It added to an already crowded trophy cabinet at the Edmondson household, equalling sister Annette's current tally of five national titles. "When I was younger I didn't get so much success, so to be able to see where I am now it's really exciting. It's all about the family success. We're proud of each other's efforts (and that) spurs us on."

Men's Team Sprint
New South Wales' Mitch Bullen teamed with Andrew Taylor and Timothy Green to defend their men's team sprint crown as the trio clocked 44.902secs to defeat the South Australian trio of Daniel Ellis, Pat Constable and Alexander Radzikiewicz (45.676).

"There is no better feeling than winning a race, especially of this calibre with some of your best mates, and we've been lucky to do it two years running," said Bullen, who will now look to defending his sprint crown.

Taking out the bronze medal were Victoria's Shane Perkins, Emerson Harwood and Jacob Schmid (45.331).

Men's kilometre time trial
South Australia's Matthew Glaetzer set an Australian Championship record on his way to claiming his maiden kilometre time trial title. The third last rider to set out on the four laps, Glaetzer used his trademark sprinting power which has secured him world, national and Oceania titles, to post a time of 1min 1.175secs. The time eclipsed Shane Perkins' record (1:01.736) set on the same Adelaide track in 2009.

"I haven't done one for three years so it's definitely an eye opener and a pretty big shock to the system," said Glaetzer. "But I did a seven second personal best so I can't complain."

Scott Law (NSW) took the silver in a time of 1min 3.176secs. Scott Sunderland (WA), who last week became the first Australian to break the one minute barrier, got off to a hesitant start with a handlebar issue but held on to take the bronze in 1min 3.568secs.

"I knew every time the kilo comes up he [Scott Sunderland] is in contention right from the get go so I knew I was going to have to pull out a really good race to beat him. He's a class act and I just managed to get him today," said Glaetzer.

Women's team sprint
Steph Morton and Rikki Belder defended their women's team sprint title, giving South Australia its third straight win in the event. In the final, Belder bolted out of the blocks to give the home team a one second lead after the first lap, with Morton powering over the second lap to take the gold in a time of 34.172secs over Victoria (35.262).

"Rikki did an amazing job and made my life a bit easier on the back when she brings me in so quick," said Morton. For 20-year-old Belder, it was her third straight title after she took the 2012 title with Anna Meares.

"I just do my best on the front and hope the second wheel, whoever it is, can bring it home and they usually can. Especially when it is a big name as it is a pretty big honour to ride with these girls," said Belder.

Queensland's Taylah Jennings and 2013 under 19 junior team sprint world champion Tenille Falappi took the bronze (35.855) over West Australian duo of Tian Beckett and Elissa Wundersitz (36.850).

Men U19 3000m Individual Pursuit
It was a battle of the track versus the road in the under 19 men's 3000m individual pursuit with 2013 UCI Road World Championship representative Daniel Fitter (QLD) lining up against 2013 team pursuit world champion Callum Scotson (SA).

Just half a second separated the pair in qualifying, with Scotson taking it to fastest qualifier Fitter in the final, establishing a lead of over half a second heading into the final kilometre.

In an exciting final few laps, Fitter tightened the screws to take the lead, crossing the line in 3mins 19.337secs and take the gold just one tenth of a second ahead of Scotson (3:20.259).

"I didn't really expect to be in a medal ride off, let alone win it in the end. I couldn't be happier," said a jovial Fitter. "It kind of hit me a bit when I heard the gun go off first as I hit the line. I think it's still slowly sinking in."

Sam Welsford (WA/3:19.336) took the bronze over time trial silver medallist from the afternoon session Alexander Porter (SA/3:24.671).

Women U19 2000m Individual Pursuit
In the under 19 women 2000m individual pursuit, South Australia's Alexandra Manly upset reigning world champion Lauren Perry (TAS) to take her first senior national track title.

In the final, the 2013 UCI Road World Championships time trial bronze medallist covered the eight laps in 2mins 25.666secs to finish almost three seconds ahead of Perry (2:28.435).

"I was not expecting it at all, especially with the good company I was in like Lauren Perry, world champion, who was pretty special to race against," said Manly. "I went into the race thinking, 'what do I have to lose,' so I am very happy to come away with it. It's a very good start to the season."

Tasmania's Macey Stewart (2:28.179) recovered from a fall out of the gates in her final, defeating South Australia's Danielle McKinnirey (2:30.469) in a restart to take the bronze medal.

Women U19 7.5km Scratch Race
New South Wales' Josie Talbot won a crash-marred under 19 women's 7.5km scratch race which saw eventual silver medallist Lauren Perry (TAS) caught in a collision which brought down almost half the field mid-way through the race.

Perry recovered and was edged in a thrilling sprint to the line by Talbot with Perry's team-mate Macey Stewart taking bronze. "I'm very happy with this win. I didn't have a great ride in the individual earlier, so this makes up for it," said Talbot.

Under 19 kilometre time trial
Victoria's Braden Dean claimed his first senior track gold medal, taking out the under 19 men's kilometre time trial. "I probably would have liked to have been a little bit faster, I was hoping to go under 1:04 but I'm really happy with my time," said Dean, who was the fastest at each of the four time checks and recorded a time of 1min 04.170secs.

"My main goal was to get off to a great start because that is probably my biggest weakness but once I was off to a good start I just kept pushing towards the end. When I was half out I heard the commentator say I was up by a little bit so I just kicked it and tried to bring it home as strong as I could."

Alexander Porter (SA/1:05.003) claimed silver with Bradley Heffernan (NSW/1:05.652) bronze.


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