Matthew Richardson has reclaimed the Australian elite men’s sprint crown dominantly at the 2023 TrackNats, defeating Thomas Cornish in the gold medal final.
Richardson’s third sprint national championship was a flawless display of unrivalled speed at Brisbane’s Anna Meares Velodrome, winning every match sprint over the two-day event after setting a new championship record for the flying 200m at 9.504 seconds on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old's turn of speed off running at the wheel in front of him was simply too much to handle for the rest of Australia’s sprinting elite.
Never in doubt 😅— SBS Sport (@SBSSportau) March 16, 2023
Matthew Richardson claims the gold in the Elite Men Sprint! 🥇
Watch Day 2 of the Australian Track National Championships right now via @SBSOnDemand! 🚲🇦🇺#couchpeloton #TrackNats23
▶: https://t.co/7zOuqQtv3d pic.twitter.com/uUZhPxdqF7
Richardson said he was made to work for the title, despite there not being close calls at the finish line.
“I mean the effort was still put in despite them not being the closest races I’ve had on the line,” he said.
“Tom is no slouch, so I had to put in pretty hard against him in the final and Byron (Davies) as well in the semi.
“And whether it’s states, club races, national championships or world championships, it’s always the same process for me.
“I always come in on the day with my head screwed on and today was no different and it’s the same mindset the whole way through.”
The speed shown in Brisbane from Richardson signals a sharp return to the form he displayed at the tail end of 2022, when he won the UCI Track Champions League sprint title in style, ousting world champion Harrie Lavreysen.
Having that speed back warms the heart of no one more than Richardson himself, who was not at his best three weeks ago for the Jakarta UCI Track Nations Cup.
But with this performance, he said it was confirmation of what went awry in Indonesia.
“It’s pretty clear to me just how much of an effect the food and climate had on me in Jakarta,” Richardson said.
“I was struggling a bit with the diet and the food we had at the hotel.
“It wasn’t guaranteed in my mind that was the problem but now three weeks later with the times that I’ve been riding and how I’ve been feeling on the day, I think it is.
“It’s definitely something we need to get better at doing in the future in different countries where that might be an issue, so it’s all just good learning for us.”
South Australian James Brister filled the last step of the sprint podium with bronze.