February 05, 2010
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South Australian Jack Bobridge won his second straight Australian title in the men's 4km individual pursuit after posting two world class times on day one of competition at the Australian Championships at Adelaide's Super-Drome.
In the afternoon's qualifying session the 20 year old posted a time of 4min14.427sec, the third fastest ever ridden, to qualify fastest for a gold medal ride off against team mate and first year senior, Rohan Dennis, 19, who also produced the goods to clock 4min15.764sec.
"This year at the Tour Down Under, I held myself back a lot and came out here a lot fresher as I have shown that with my times I have produced here," said Bobridge. "Honestly I don't think I am 100% fit yet, still a little bit off, which is a good feeling for myself knowing I have 6-7 weeks until the World Championships in Copenhagen.
"Considering I have only done three sessions on the track leading into these Championships, I have come out today and surprised myself," said Bobridge who has been preparing on the Super-Drome for the past week. "It has been perfect conditions for track cycling, so that's why you have seen so many fast times delivered here."
In the final Dennis went out hard early but Bobridge, trailing by close to a second after one kilometre, then kicked into gear and was .694 seconds faster at the halfway mark. Bobridge then consolidated the lead and at the end of the 16 laps stopped the clock in 4min16.313sec more than four seconds faster than Dennis who claimed the silver in 4min20.557sec.
Bobridge's sizzling qualifying ride knocked six tenths of a second off the time set by Welsh cyclist Gerraint Thomas at the Manchester round of the World Cup in October last year. The time was also faster than the Olympic record set by Britain's reigning Olympic Champion Bradley Wiggins in Beijing. The only rider who has gone faster than Bobridge is Chris Boardman, who set the world record time of 4min11.114sec to win the 1996 World Championships in Manchester and a qualifying time in the same event of 4min13.353sec. But those times were set using an aerodynamic stretched out position that has since been banned which means Bobridge is, effectively, the fastest rider in the world over 4km under the current rules. His performance today has also netted him the Australian and All-Comers records wiping Brad McGee's 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games time (4min16.358sec) and Germany's Robert Bartko's Sydney Olympic Games time (4min18.515sec) from the Australian record book.
In the bronze medal ride West Australian Travis Meyer (4min22.845sec) was too fast for 2009 Junior World Champion, Michael Hepburn of Queensland who posted 4min25.329sec to finish fourth in his first Australian titles in the elite ranks.
South Australia had more cause for celebration today when Dale Parker broke the World Record for the U19 3km pursuit, a time set by Hepburn, at last year's Junior World Championships. Parker clocked 3min13.958sec in qualifying to clip more than one and a half seconds off Hepburn's previous mark of 3min15.586sec.
Parker then backed up in tonight's final where he overtook Jackson Law (NSW) with three laps remaining to win the title before riding on to complete the 3km in another sizzling time of 3min15.760sec. Mitchell Lovelock-Fay (ACT) claimed the bronze medal.
"I just wanted this so bad and at the moment I am living the dream," said Parker. "I got to within a kilometre to go and I knew I wasn't on as quick a time, it just didn't feel as quick, but I was just happy to take the Australian title.
"That last kilometre was all mental, knew my legs weren't going to make me lift, it was all coming from the heart," Parker explained. "Someone is always going to take a world record off you, but you can't take this, I have this (Australian) title for life."
In the women's 3km pursuit Sarah Kent (WA) collected her first senior individual Australian title with her victory over fastest qualifier Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW). Sydney's Ankudinoff had knocked nine seconds off her personal best to ride 3min34.769sec in the afternoon session against Kent's 3min37.442sec but in the final Kent's stamina proved superior as she wore down her rival over 12 laps to win the gold medal in the time of 3min36.981sec with Ankudinoff crossing the line in 3min38.033sec. The bronze medal was won by Josephine Tomic (WA).
"I'm very happy, I guess last year I was pretty close, so to finally do it after six years coming, I couldn't be happier," said Kent. "This title it is at the top, as there has been such good competition, and I knocked four seconds off my personal best today.
"I just wanted to go under 3.40, so to do a 36 in the final, I couldn't have asked for anything else."
After setting a new Australian Championship and All Comers record of 2mins25.283seconds in the afternoon's qualifying, Tasmanian Amy Cure successfully defended her U19 2km individual pursuit title.
The final came down to the wire with Cure's time of 2mins23.661seconds just 14 thousandths of a second faster than reigning U19 World Champion West Australia's Michaela Anderson who crossed the line in 2min25.675seconds. The result was a reverse of last year's Junior World Championships where Cure finished second behind Anderson. Isabella King (WA) won the bronze medal final.
"I felt a bit sick at the start but overcame that and it was a great race with Michaela," said Cure. "The last couple of laps were really hard, and I knew it was going to be tight, so I just gave it my all and was happy to come home with the win."
Sydney's Kaarle McCulloch, who last year teamed with Queensland's Anna Meares to win the team sprint World Championship, tonight lined up with junior team mate Madison Law to win the Australian Open title (U19 and elite combined). The pair clocked 35.675sec in the final to defeat South Australia's elite pairing off Stephanie Morton and Annette Edmondson (36.066sec). The bronze medal went to West Australian duo Melissa Hoskins and U19 rider Holly Williams.
"It is an absolute honour to put the greena and gold jersey on as Austraian Champion," said McCulloch. "I won my first one in 2008 so great to get another in 2010.
In the qualifying round of the men's sprint Canberra's Daniel Ellis was the fastest over 200m with his time of 10.266sec. Victorian Jason Niblett was second fastest in 10.351sec and WA's Scott Sunderland third fastest in 10.373sec. All three cruised through the first round to go through to tomorrow's quarter finals.