Welsford doubles up, Ankudinoff claims a third and Andrews ascends in the individual pursuit
Australia were again the dominant force on day two of the 2019 Oceania Track Championships at the Adelaide Super-Drome, Thursday October 11.
Sam Welsford (Australia) wowed the crowd winning both the omnium and scratch race titles in quick succession. While Ashlee Ankudinoff (Australia) claimed her third gold of the Championships in the scratch race.
Ellesse Andrews put the silver fern of New Zealand back on the top step of the podium as she claimed a maiden elite title winning the individual pursuit.
In the time trials Kaarle McCulloch (Australia) claimed her eighth Oceania title in the event as Cameron Scott (Australia) took out the men’s ending the winning run of Zac Williams (New Zealand) in the event.
Women’s Individual Pursuit
There was no stopping 2017 junior world champion Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) from taking gold in just her third 3km individual pursuit, storming to the title in 3mins 38.380secs in cool conditions to beat out Maeve Plouffe (Australia-3:41.993). Bronze went to Nicole Shields (New Zealand) who won bronze as an under 19 two years ago.
“It feels really really good. I came in to the event not too sure about how everything would go I hadn’t done the IP for a few months, so I didn’t really know my schedule at all or what the other girls would be doing,” Andrews explained. “I just came in ready to just give it my best and see what happened, so I am really happy.”
“I quite like it,” she added on the step up from 2km to 3km. “I approach it very differently and I have to learn to hold the pace and just rip my legs off really. It is good to learn new skills to be able to ride the 3km.”
A dominant display from Sam Welsford (Australia) saw him take the first of two titles on a busy day of racing, having previously won the omnium in 2016. A third place finish in the scratch race before commanding performances in the tempo and elimination set Welsford up nicely heading in to the final points race.
With his bunch racing pedigree on display there was no stopping Welsford as he blitzed the field to finish on 148 points, 19 clear of silver medallist Kelland O’Brien with New Zealand’s Campbell Stewart rounding out the podium on 123 points.
“The omnium was really fun today! It has been a while since I have raced on the track, so it was really good to get out there. I had good legs and rode smart and to my abilities, so I was pretty happy to get the win,” following what has been a busy road season for the 22-year-old.
“Oceania’s are really good to see how you are going at the start of track season and I got a bit of a bunch focus at the World Cups, so it is really good for peace of mind and confidence to get the win.”
Women’s 500m Time Trial
Kaarle McCulloch claimed a remarkable eighth career Oceania time trial in dominating fashion with the Australian stopping the clock for two laps of the track in 34.075secs to beat out New Zealand’s Emma Cumming’s 34.243secs and Olivia Podmore’s 34.609secs.
“I am really happy. I really wanted to win that one, so I have the spot for the World Championships. I have done my job for the week now, so I am happy,” said McCulloch.
“Probably had a bit big of a gear on it was pretty cold out there so just happy with the execution and happy with the gold.”
Men’s 1km Time Trial
Four years ago, in Adelaide, Australia’s Cameron Scott claimed the under 19 men’s 1km time trial and today he added the elite title to his name in a stunning time trial that saw him post a time of 1min 1.503secs. Silver went to Tylah Meunier (Australia-1:02.031). Three time defending champion Zac Williams (New Zealand) had to settle for bronze in 1min 2.073secs.
“It feels really good the kilo has a special place in my heart. I love doing it every year and each year I get faster and faster so pretty happy to do another PB,” Scott said following the podium. “Not ideal conditions today but it was a good indication of where my form is at.”
Ashlee Ankudinoff continued her domination of the women’s endurance events outsprinting a strong field for a fourth career Oceania points race title. The all Australia podium included Annette Edmondson in second and Georgia Baker in third.
Fresh from his omnium success Sam Welsford sprinted more than three bike lengths clear of the field with time to celebrate across this line to snare scratch gold. 2011 winner Leigh Howard and time trial champion Cameron Scott rounded out the podium.
Graeme Frislee and Oliver Bleddyn were too strong in the Madison taking gold for Australia on 40 points ahead of Kurt Eather and Luke Britton (Australia-29) and Conor Shearing and Griffyn Spencer (New Zealand-28).
In the women’s individual pursuit Lauren Robards improved on silver a year ago taking gold in 2mins 26.969secs. The all Australian podium included Ashley Jones with silver in 2mins 28.494secs and Ella Sibley (2:30.223) taking bronze. The men’s individual pursuit crown was taken by Laurence Pithie of New Zealand in 3mins 23.212secs ahead of Oliver Bleddyn (Australia-3:25.387), with Alastair Mackellar (Australia-3:30.461) completing the podium.
Heather May (Australia) added to her team sprint success with gold in the 500m time trial stopping the clock in 36.567secs in an Australian lock out of the podium with Eliza Bennett and Tia Slama in silver and bronze positions. The men’s 1km title went to Jaden Rollison (Australia-1:07.088) ahead of Cameron Manley (New Zealand-1:07.711) with Louis Stibbard (Australia-1:07.800) completing the podium.
There was a second trip to the podium for Ella Sibley (Australia) this time for gold in the points race after collecting 15 points. Siler went to Dharlia Haines (Australia) and bronze Lauren Robards (Australia) tied on 11.