A swag of Commonwealth Games debutants will take to London’s Lee Valley VeloPark this evening for a moment they’ve dreamt of since they were kids.
Adelaide’s Chloe Moran is one of those debutants, a talented, softly spoken 23-year-old who knows how to find the finish line in front of her rivals.
Moran’s performances on the track this year have been just that through Australia’s summer track season, winning three national titles at the 2022 AusCycling Track National Championships (Track Nats), and a further two Oceania crowns a week later at the 2022 Oceania Cycling Track Championships in Brisbane.
Add to that an impressive double silver medal debut showing at the Milton Tissot UCI Track Nations Cup in May and you begin to understand why so many followers of AusCycling’s Australian Cycling Team track program are filled with excitement to see what this young brigade of trackies can achieve in London over the next four days.
For Moran, that level of excitement is shared, with the entire women’s endurance squad selected for the Commonwealth Games more than prepared to push the limit at Birmingham 2022.
“It’s really exciting, this is going to be my first major competition in the elite ranks for the Australian team so I’m very excited for the opportunity,” Moran said.
“We’ve had a good season as a squad overall with Track Nats and Oceays (Oceania Track Championships) as well as Milton (Tissot UCI Nations Cup) and we’ve just sort of been building from there.
“We’re coming in (to Birmingham 2022) off a different prep. We’ve done a lot of road racing recently as a squad in Belgium, so we’re hoping that will sort of help us with the form for the next few days.
“For all of us, other than Georgia (Baker), we all haven’t been at a Commonwealth Games so it’s all new and exciting for us, which is good to experience together as a team.
“Our coach Glenn (O’Shea) is definitely a very calm person so it’s been good to have that approach.
“He’s gone to a few Commonwealth Games himself, so he has quite a bit of experience there and he’s told us a few things about what it’s like at a multi-sport event rather than a purely cycling event.”
While cool, calm and collected herself, Moran has let the reality of her Commonwealth Games debut slowly build over recent weeks, with the main catalyst the environment switch from the roads of Belgium to the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales in Newport.
“While we were in Belgium it was just all on the road, so it didn’t quite set it at the time but now it certainly has,” Moran said.
“We had a stack of Commonwealth Games kit boxes to the wall in the bike room, and those little things started to make it more real in the past fortnight.
“The velodrome in Newport was really nice and smooth to ride – we were really lucky to be able to prepare there before coming to London, which is a track I’ve been looking forward to seeing was like for a while.
“I had heard there were some similarities between Newport and it, which is good, but it’s always exciting to see and ride on different velodromes around the world.”
Tonight, Moran will race on the boards of London for the very first time, but she will do so boosted by having her family right there with her in the crowd.
“I’ve got my family here and my sister is moving to London to do her master's degree at a similar time so the whole family has come over to support her and my cycling at the same time.”
Moran and the Australian Commonwealth Games track cycling team begin their pursuit of gold tonight at Birmingham 2022 in London.
In Australia, you can watch all the cycling from Birmingham 2022 on Seven and 7plus – live, free and in HD.
7plus will be showing up to 30 live and replay channels, so you can follow your favourite events and catch up on highlights. For streaming, visit the 7plus Commonwealth Games Hub. There are specific streaming pages for track cycling, mountain bike and road cycling.
AusCycling will post event previews and reports throughout the Games on our website.