Aussie cyclists dominate at the velodrome
Posted on 12/17/18 5:04 PM
Jessica Gallagher and Madison Jansenn have helped lead ‘s cycling charge on opening day.’s track cycling stars have credited new high performance boss Simon Jones for the team’s transformation after they won three golds and broke a world record on the opening night of Commonwealth Games action.
The host nation won both men’s and women’s team pursuits and the women’s team sprint, while adding two bronze at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane on Thursday night.
The women’s pursuit team produced a faultless display to overtake New Zealand on the final lap of their gold medal ride-off before the men’s team went even better by smashing the world record in their final against England.
Stephanie Morton and Kaarle McCulloch then put the icing on top by overpowering New Zealand to win the women’s team sprint.
It marks the first big steps forward under Jones, who was poached from Team Sky last year to restructure the program that yielded just two medals at the Rio Olympics.
He took the punt to focus on the Gold Coast Games as a priority, as a dress-rehearsal for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, ahead of last year’s world titles.
“He’s come on board and we’ve gone faster, it’s as simple as that,” pursuit member Leigh Howard said of Jones’ impact.
“I think change is always going to cause some criticism, but I think he’s the sort of guy who’s happy to take the blame, whether it’s his fault or not and that’s what a true leader does.””
Kelland O’Brien replaced Jordan Kerby in the n men’s quartet that qualified fastest earlier in the day, teaming with Howard, Alex Porter and Sam Welsford.
Leigh Howard , Alex Porter , Sam Welsford, Jordan Kerby and Kelland O’Brien celebrate cycling gold.
overcame an early deficit to power home in three minutes 49.804 seconds and shave nearly half a second off the previous record.
Showing the quality of the victory, the English team contained three of the riders that set the world record for Great Britain at the Rio Games.
Howard said were excited by a renewed Ashes battle in Tokyo.
“Absolutely (Great Britain will gun for us), yeah bring it on, we’re ready,” Howard said.
Team veteran Edmondson described Jones as a “whirlwind”.
“There were a few questions at the start and he copped a lot of criticism,” she said.
“(But) it was time for a change.”
Morton and McCulloch set a Games record, usurping the time set by McCulloch and Anna Meares in winning gold at Delhi 2010, the last time the event was held at the Games.
Their male counterparts claimed bronze after a disappointing semi-final loss where couldn’t recover from a starting mishap.
Para-cyclist Brad Henderson won bronze in the men’s tandem 1000m time trial while Jessica Gallagher was outgunned by England’s Sophie Thornhill in the tandem sprint final after the pair had traded world records in qualifying earlier in the day.
Gallagher was denied a silver medal though, with just three women in the field.