2014 , by Cycling Australia
The final day of the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships netted Australia two medals, taking the team’s final tally to eight for the five-day Championships, equal with Germany for most by any nation.
Dual keirin world champion Anna Meares claimed her second silver medal of the week, while London Olympic omnium bronze medallist Annette Edmondson clinched her third consecutive World Championship podium appearance in the women’s omnium with bronze.
After winning the team pursuit gold medal on the opening night of competition, Alexander Edmondson and Glenn O'Shea teamed to finish fourteenth in the men's Madison.
In the night’s other final, an amazing recovery from South Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer following a crash in the keirin earlier in the week saw him finish fourth in the men's sprint final.
Final Night event recaps below.
Australia finished with eight medals including three world championships through the men’s team pursuit and Alex Edmondson in the men’s individual pursuit and Amy Cure in the women’s points race.
"It was a challenging World Championships for us in Colombia, but I'm pleased with the overall performance of the team, and especially encouraged with our 'never say die' attitude, when the odds were stacked against us," said Kevin Tabotta, National Performance Director, High Performance Unit, Cycling Australia.
"The way that Matt Glaetzer bounced back from a horror crash in the kerin to line up with his injuries two days later. And then go on to make his first semi final appearance, in the highly competitive men's sprint event was an inspiration to the team.
"That shows the sort of character required for success at this level and he will surely feature on podiums in many championships to come.
"No country was able to really dominate here in Cali and so our eight medals with three gold is a good indicator of our progress as we head toward the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in July.
"We still have some work to do to be true podium contenders at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games across the program of events, but things are heading in the right direction," Tabotta added.
Women's Keirin - Meares & Morton
Dual keirin world champion Anna Meares claimed her second silver medal of the week, finishing behind Germany’s Kristina Vogel in a thrilling women’s final.
It was a three-way battle in the final between Meares, Vogel - looking for her third gold medal of the week after pocketing sprint and team sprint gold earlier in the week - and reigning world champion Becky James (GBR).
Vogel went to the front at the bell lap, with Meares and James rubbing elbows as they chased the German powerhouse. It was a tight finish, but it was Vogel with the win just ahead of Meares and James.
With the win, Vogel became just the third female in history with Anna Meares (2011) and Victoria Pendleton (2007) to win three sprint gold medals at one Championship.
“I wasn’t sure how I was going to go today. I just tried to listen to my coach as much as possible and race the races that he wanted me to race,” said Meares, who claimed the keirin world crown in successive years in 2011 and 2012.
“I just said to him ‘look I’ll give you all I’ve got’, I was so happy to fight as much as I did and to come as close as I did to Kristina, who is in amazing form. I think it was a great race, it really was.”
It was the second silver medal of the Championships for Meares after finishing just behind Germany’s Miriam Welte in the 500m time trial on the second night of competition.
The reigning Olympic and 2011 sprint champion was halted however at the quarterfinal stage of the sprint event.
“Like I said on the night of the sprint, as much as I found it very difficult to go through, you get beaten but as long as you’re not defeated,” said Meares, who now boasts twenty-two World Championship career medals.
“I spend a lot of time just getting my head around that and I remember that I’ve been in that position many a times before and have come out of it.
“Sometimes I shouldn’t listen to myself when I’m having a bad day and that worked today. I listened to my husband and I listened to my coach and generally they should be the only people that I listen to,” remarked Meares.
Fellow South Australian Stephanie Morton finished ninth overall after finishing third in the 7-12 small final.
Women's Omnium Final - Edmondson
London Olympic omnium bronze medallist Annette Edmondson secured her third consecutive omnium World Championship podium appearance winning bronze.
The omnium features six events held across two days, with riders accumulating point based on their finishing position in each round. The rider with the lowest at the end of the six rounds is declared the winner.
Edmondson, 21, claimed the minimum one point in three rounds – flying lap, scratch race and the 500m time trial– and finished in the top three in the elimination and individual pursuit.
However it was an eleventh place finish in the second event - the 20km points race – which proved costly for the South Australian.
“I’m coming home with two bronze (medals) so I am happy with that,” said Edmondson who reached the team pursuit podium on day two. “I guess I’ve just got to figure something else out and try to go a couple of steps better.
“I definitely know I can improve, I stuffed up my points race and if I hadn’t lost so many points in that I would be looking at a different result.
“Practice makes perfect so maybe I just need to get a bit more experience at the World Cups. I’ll learn from it and hopefully next time change things up a bit,” Edmondson added.
It was a clinical display from reigning champion Sarah Hammer (USA/14pts) who defended her title ahead of reigning Olympic and 2012 champion Laura Trott (GBR/20pts).
Men's Madison 50 Km - Edmondson/O’Shea
Following their team pursuit victory on the opening night of competition, the South Australian duo of Glenn O’Shea and Alex Edmondson paired for the 50km, 200 lap men’s Madison final.
The pair began in the best possible way, gaining a lap on the field after lap seven, before Edmondson continued their momentum, picking up valuable sprint points with 140 laps remaining.
However near the halfway mark of the race, Australia lost their one lap advantage, with the race marred by a crash brought down Switzerland, New Zealand and Great Britain teams shortly after.
With the pace of the race stringing the teams out across the Cali Velodrome, the Belgium and the Czech Republic teams proved their strength in the discipline, earning continuous points in the sprint laps further putting Australia on the back foot.
Spain was eventually awarded the gold medal on 18 points ahead of the Czech Republic and Switzerland.
Edmondson will now head back to Australia with two rainbow jerseys after claiming both the team and individual pursuit world titles. While fellow team pursuit world champion O’Shea can rest after a heavy workload which included four events (Madison, team pursuit, points, scratch).
Men's Sprint - Glaetzer
An amazing recovery from South Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer secured his highest ever finish in the men’s sprint event at a World Championships.
After knocking out teammates Shane Perkins and Daniel Ellis in Saturday’s qualifying, Glaetzer faced reigning world champion Stefan Botticher (GER) in the semi final. There, Glaetzer took the German to three heats, with Botticher moving through by little more than the width of a tyre.
In the bronze medal final, it was another strong performance from Glaetzer, but it was not enough as he was beaten by Russia’s Denis Dmitriev in two straight heats.
It has been a week of highs and lows for the 21-year-old after a spectacular crash in the second round of the keirin on Thursday threatened his campaign. The crash, caused by his opponent who was later relegated, resulted in Glaetzer sliding 50 metres down the home straight and into the bend, with his bike catapulting into the stands.
It was a bit of a testing situation to see whether I’ll be able to pull up alright for the sprint and be competitive and I surprised myself with how good I was feeling,” said the former pole-vaulter claiming his maiden world title in the team sprint with Shane Perkins and Scott Sunderland in 2012.
“To be able to come up against Shane Perkins and to beat him one-on-one, that’s a first. That was a big step in itself.
“I made huge gains out of this week and it’s just the process of continuing on that trend and making sure that I’m doing the right things. Focusing on the processes, just focusing race to race and not trying to win as such but to do the right things to win,” Glaetzer added.
Australia finished with eight medals overall. Complete medal table.
The 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships were held in Cali, Columbia from February 26 to March 2.
Approximately 350 athletes contested 19 World Championship events, across five days.
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A battle between two of the world’s track cycling powerhouses will kick start Australia’s summer of cycling in Adelaide from October 8-11.