Australia's best track cyclists across all age categories will race for the coveted green and gold national champion jerseys across March and April at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane.
Here are five names who will be chasing national championships in the para-cycling categories at #TrackNats22.
One of the youngest members of the Australian Cycling Team para-cycling squad, 25-year-old Paige Greco was the first gold medal winner at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after breaking her own world record twice in one day in the women’s C1-3 3000m individual pursuit with a time of 3:50.815 in the final. Greco then went on to win two bronze medals on the road at her debut Paralympics. She is also a three-time world champion on the track. Categorised as a C3 athlete (cerebral palsy), Greco began her para-cycling journey in 2017. She recently completed her undergraduate degree in exercise sports science and will be representing Queensland for the first time at #TrackNats22 after relocating from Adelaide to Brisbane at the start of the year.
Emily Petricola added another chapter to her cycling success story at her debut Paralympic Games in 2021, winning a gold medal on the track and a silver medal on the road at Tokyo 2020. The Victorian, who is now based in Brisbane, is a four-time world champion on the track in the C4 category and the current world record holder for the women’s C4 3000m individual pursuit. Petricola was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 27 in 2007. In 2015, Petricola’s friend and colleague, two-time Olympian Matt Ryan, offered to oversee her training along with another good friend, five-time Olympic cyclist Shane Kelly, and emboldened Emily to dream big in cycling.
A triple Paralympian, Amanda Reid was unstoppable in the women's C1-3 500m Time Trial at Tokyo 2020, setting a new C2 500m TT world record (38.487secs) to go one better than her silver medal in Rio 2016. The Sydneysider is a five-time world champion on the track across the 500m time trial, scratch race and individual pursuit in the C2 category. The 25-year-old's career started in the pool as a swimmer, however, she switched to cycling following the London 2012 Paralympics. Reid has cerebral palsy and an intellectual impairment. She is a proud Gurinagi and Wemba Wemba woman and the first Indigenous Australian to win a gold medal in cycling at the Paralympics.
One of the brightest stars of the Tokyo Paralympics, Darren Hicks captured the nation's attention on both the road and track at Tokyo 2020 courtesy of two medal-winning performances. Hicks' dream of becoming a Paralympic Games gold medalist was ticked off with authority, claiming the men's C2 Time Trial title on the road by a winning margin of more than 90-seconds. The South Australian was the 2019 world champion in the men’s C2 individual pursuit and is a multi-time national champion on the track. Hicks was a BMX devotee up until a motor vehicle accident in 2014 where he suffered severe leg and neck trauma, his right leg was amputated above the knee, his left leg was fractured and his C2 vertebra was so severely broken it required a surgical fixation. A year later, Darwin-born Hicks competed for the first time in para-cycling.
The rock star of the Australian Cycling Team para-cycling squad, Alistair Donohoe secured another Paralympic Games medal with a bronze in the men's C5 road time trial at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The Victorian, who was born in Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory, took home two silvers from Rio 2016. The mullet-wielding 27-year-old is an eight-time world champion and has raced for most of his career as an able-bodied cyclist as well on the road at the UCI Continental level, most recently with ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast. Never far from a bike as a kid, Donohoe injured his right arm as a 15-year-old in 2009 jumping from a tree into a creek, severing 70 per cent of his bicep and 90 per cent of his triceps. Donohoe underwent months of rehabilitation to be able to move his hand and wrist, with the goal of returning to cycling always at the forefront. He currently resides in Brisbane.
Australia’s best track cyclists in the Elite, Para, plus Under 19, 17 and 15 categories will race for the coveted green and gold national champion jerseys from March 24-30 at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane.
The 2022 AusCycling Track National Championships is part of the Brisbane Cycling Festival 2022. It is proudly supported by Brisbane City Council, through Brisbane Economic Development Agency and the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.
Tickets available at the door or online.
Pictures: Element Photo and Video and John Veage