TrackNats24: Western Australia, Byron Davies and Chloe Moran win elite national titles on Day 4

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Post-race timing review overturns team pursuit result in favour of Western Australia

Western Australia has won the elite men’s team pursuit national championship in the gold-medal final versus Queensland, who had initially been shown as the new national champions when both teams crossed the line simultaneously.

A 30-minute delay on the official result followed and led to an overturning of the result, much to the joy of the Western Australian team, while a dejected Queensland collected the silver medal on Day 4 of the 2024 AusCycling Track National Championships.

The initial confusion stemmed from timing on the Anna Meares Velodrome scoreboard being taken from the first rider across the line for both teams and showing a Queensland win by hundredths of a second, however, the result of a team pursuit is taken on the third rider across the finish line.

Immediate queries regarding the unofficial result from both AusCycling commissaires and Western Australia team staff started almost immediately, despite the celebrations of Queensland’s James Moriarty, Liam Walsh, Tyler Tomkinson and Rohan Haydon-Smith, who were unaware they were not officially the new national champions until stepping off the track.

After multiple camera reviews and finish-line photo analysis, it was the Western Australia quartet of Conor Leahy, John Carter, Stephen Hall and Jack Dohler who were confirmed as national champions by 0.290 seconds.

The high-quality gold medal final delivered multiple lead changes and two 3-minute and 56 seconds finishes, with both teams leaning on their stronger pursuit riders.

For Western Australia, it was five-time individual pursuit national champion Leahy and Carter pulling longer turns for their train, while Queensland put the onus on Moriarty and Walsh.

A massive turn from Leahy in the closing laps proved to be the winning moment of the race.

What they said:

John Carter: “Feeling good, it’s good to get out there with the boys and get a result. It’s a good team, we’ve been thinking about it for a little while and we always knew we were capable of it and it’s good to live up to those expectations.

“It was the first time for all four us riding together in a team pursuit today. We did a little hit-out in the warm-up session this morning and then just got up on the track and got it done. That’s how we roll.

“Obviously you look up at the timing board and you see that you’re in second and it’s a little bit disappointing, especially by such a fine margin in the end. But then of course they came up to us and said they were reviewing the timings and that kind of gives you a little bit of hope and in the end we came away with the result.

“So, obviously, Conor and I and James and Liam have a bit more team pursuit experience - Conor more than most. And it’s just sort of down to us to hold the team together for that little bit and pull a longer turn when necessary and keep it all heading in the right direction.

“It’s really good to see all the WA guys having a great week. They all work so hard throughout the year and I see that training with them in Adelaide and Perth and all that, and it’s great to see them coming out with podiums and national championships.”

Conor Leahy: “To be honest, I had accepted that we got second because I didn’t really look too much into it, I just saw plus something, something. I didn’t even really look at the time.

“I was like ‘ah, it was close’ but accepted that and that it was a good ride. I had fun out there and raced with all my mates and then when they said that we had won my brain started ticking and I thought maybe that is right because I was going bloody hard at the end.

“It was really confusing and really strange but super happy to pull off a really good time with an awesome team of guys, so yeah, it was cool.”


Byron Davies wins back-to-back 1000m TT national championships

Queensland’s Byron Davies has successfully defended his 1000m time trial national championship, winning comfortably by 1.386 seconds ahead of Tasmanian Josh Duffy in the silver medal position.

Davies’ main rival from last year, Thomas Cornish, didn’t line up to contest the kilo on Day 4 of TrackNats, but the Queenslander didn’t ease off in qualifying, recording a 59.885 in very good conditions at Anna Meares Velodrome, with his nearest competitor a further 2.5 seconds behind.

In the final, 2022 national champion Duffy set the early standard as the fifth rider to start, setting a 1:01.601 to place a small amount of pressure on Davies.

However, the Brisbane-based sprinter rose to the occasion and time set by the ARA Australian Cycling Team team pursuit member to regain his kilo crown for another year.

What he said:

“It’s pretty cool and I’m stoked to go back-to-back.

“Winning my maiden title last year was great and obviously going back-to-back this year is even better.

“I would’ve liked to have finished in the 59s twice, but you know, just didn’t have it in the legs for the last one. But I was happy to go 59.8 in qualifying.

“The conditions were pretty good earlier in the day – it was super hot and couldn’t be any better. And then it cooled it down a bit tonight, but Brisbane delivers pretty good conditions all the time.

“Getting faster gradually. That tonight was a little bit of a bigger gear than I’ve ridden before so definitely getting quicker and stronger every year and hopefully there’s a few opportunities on the horizon, but we’ll have to wait and see.”


'Couldn’t have kept it much closer’: Chloe Moran delivers late to win fourth points race title in a row

South Australian Chloe Moran has won a nail-biting finish to the elite women’s points race to notch his fourth consecutive national championship in the event.

The 100-lap, 25-kilometre race was wide open right up to the final double points sprint, with Moran picking up the final two points on the offer as the fourth rider across the line to win the gold medal by one point ahead of Czech Republic’s Petra Sevcikova and Ireland’s Lara Gillespie.

The ARA Australian Cycling Team member only scored her first points with 60 laps to go, but would win two five-point sprints at 20 to go and 10 to go to move within striking distance Gillespie.

Sevcikova launched a late attack to win the final sprint and with it 10 points, which crucially meant she would win the silver medal on countback after finishing level with Gillespie on 19 points

The Irish rider collected zero points from the final sprint to drop from first to third.

What she said:

“Feeling pretty excited. It was a very close race right down to the wire - couldn’t have kept it much closer, but I’m excited. I think that was my fourth in a row, so it was good to get that win here and end my week with a win.

“Luckily for me and her (Sophie Edwards) she was able to race tonight. She’s got a very early start in the morning at about 4:30am I think so it was good she could stick around for this race because it’s always good to have another South Aussie in the race.

“We (South Australians) went into it not really working for anyone and just seeing how it would go out there and it worked out.

“It’s really good to have them (the international riders) here, it keeps the level of the competition high and not all the Aussies were able to make it here this year so adding some pressure with those girls is awesome.”


Tayte Ryan – Junior Men’s 1000m Time Trial National Champion

What he said:

“Yeah look, I got pretty close to (Tom) Cornish's world record in Colombia last year. I think it's 1.04 and I did a 1.05, so we're getting close to it, and I didn't think I'd get much closer to it at sea level. And like I sort of came back from junior worlds, and I really wanted to chase after it, and that's sort of been my big motivation and goal, to chase after Cornish's record. And I'm really happy that I could get within a few tenths of it today.

“I was feeling pretty average this morning, so I'm pretty happy to pull out a ride like that, and I think with some fresh legs there's definitely a lot more room to go a bit quicker in there. So definitely going to set my sights on that at junior worlds this year.

“I went in as the defending champ for all events, so that was the big goal, and it's always – like we had a pretty good field out there, so it's always a big ask to try and win everything. But I'm really, really happy that we could do it, and like there was a lot of pressure on my kilo today. If I had just won the kilo in the comp, I would have been happy, because I just really wanted to win this event. I was really hungry for it. So having it last was really a challenge to me. I had to really dig deep in that first ride and in the final to put down a good time. So, I'm really, really pleased with how the week and today has gone.

“I always feel like I've done fairly well under pressure. Like racing at junior worlds last year, I went in for the experience, but then qualifying first in the final, there was quite a bit of pressure on me, and I've had to cope with that at states this year and at Oceanias this year, having to know that if I lose this event, you know, it's a big upset. So, it's sort of a bit high stakes this season. So, it's been alright. I think I've coped fairly well with it. I've performed quite well under pressure every time, I feel.”


South Australia – Junior Men’s Team Pursuit National Champions
(Wil Holmes, Jack Clark, Kalan Tucker, Wil Mathwin, Jameson Key)

What they said:

Wil Holmes: “I reckon we knew it was going to be a pretty tight race the whole time, with only 0.4 seconds in qual. We knew it was going to be pretty hard, and we got a pretty good start, and we could see them within the first couple of Ks. So, we knew we had some good confidence coming into the final. I think once we got through to the last K, it was pretty comfortable once we could see them.

“I think we took a lot of confidence coming out of qualifying with how strong we were. We were expecting Queensland to be probably the strongest team, and they made a few mistakes in qualifying. So yeah, we took a lot of confidence coming into this final. We had a new rider come in as well, so yeah, I think we were really happy coming into the final and we were really confident with what we could put out.”

Wil Mathwin: “I think it's just about being mates and just really working together as a team pursuit.”

Jack Clark: “Yeah, I'd like to acknowledge the efforts of Jameson Key here. He came into the final. It's no easy task to come into such a high-pressure situation and start our TP, and he got us off to the best possible start. Got us on schedule, and then we let Wil Holmes do the rest, as we know his calibre of riding.

“And then also I'd like to thank our coach, Brett Aitken. He's just so experienced in the field of team pursuiting, and without him we wouldn't be here. He has given us all of his knowledge and expertise from years of racing himself and coaching other successful teams. It was essential to our success today.”


Queensland – New Championship and All-comers Record – Bronze medal
(Luke Richert, Alex Hewes, Toby Jones, Will Heath)

What they said:

Luke Richert: “We experimented with strategy in the qualy and it didn’t go our way, but we went back to the original plan and executed it pretty well in the final so we’re happy with that.

Will Heath: “We switched up just a couple lengths of the turn and some of the boys had different legs to what we thought they would, and we just exploited that in the final and (Jordan) Kerby came up with a good strategy and got us going pretty good for the final. We executed it pretty well in the end and that got us over the line.”


New South Wales – Junior Women’s Team Sprint National Champions
(Liliya Tatarinoff, Maya Dillon, Phoenix Julian)

What they said:

Maya Dillon: “Spent a few hours training, like literally hours. We haven’t done too many it’s just been Oceanias and then this. So, it’s worked really well for such little time.”

Phoenix Julian: “Very special moment, I’m very excited. I didn’t expect to be here and win this so it’s really exciting.”

Liliya Tatarinoff: “Three for three so far for me, so, going pretty well this nationals campaign. Definitely happy to get the win with the girls and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow in the keirin.”


Lauren Bates – Junior Women’s Points Race National Champion

What she said:

“It was not what I was planning. I had just done a team sprint before, two rounds, and I was pretty cooked, to say the least.

“I was on the rollers warming up, cooling down, or whatever you want to call it, and I was cramping.

“One of my teammates gave me a cramp fix, and then yeah. Just that race, I'm probably in like the most pain I've been in on the track, hands down, Like riding through cramps at 40 laps to go, just praying no one was about to go, but I'm happy with how it ended.

“I was a bit scared when Leani (van der Berg) got away, but I ended up jagging second, which got me in a good position.

“I was just holding on for dear life. Well, I didn't really have another choice. I mean, the pedals don't stop turning. It's not like you're on a road bike and you can freewheel. So, I kind of had to. I was contemplating pulling out at one point, but yeah.

“I'm stoked. I'm really stoked. I'm having so much fun on the track at the moment. And I’ve got the elim tomorrow and hopefully the mado as well, so see how those go, but yeah, stoked. I didn't really come here with any expectations, so I’m just doing my best.”


Pictures: Mackenzie Sweetnam

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