Jennings claims her fourth world title and Shaw clinched 'kilo' gold
Queensland’s Taylah Jennings and Victorian Zac Shaw have triumphed on day two of racing at the UCI Junior Track World Championships in Invercargill, New Zealand.
The pair shone in their individual events with Shaw taking out the men’s kilometre time trial while Jennings added the 20km points race to her growing list of world titles. Jennings, who last year won two crowns, last night rode in the victorious women’s pursuit team and says she is “ecstatic” about making it two wins from two starts in New Zealand.
“It’s pretty hard to compare them, it’s a really awesome feeling winning a team medal and especially breaking the WR (world record) with those girls - it’s really good to share that moment but an individual world title is just so rewarding."
Jennings was unstoppable in the 20 kilometre points race winning seven of the eight sprints contested during the 80 laps. She ended with 37 points, 15 clear of silver medallist Sophie Williamson (NZL) and 23 points ahead of Great Britain’s Amy Roberts who claimed the bronze medal.
“I wanted to be dominant; I pretty much went for every sprint and dominated the last one. I felt amazing at the end, I always do," explained Jennings whose campaign is far from over. “Hopefully I can get two more [titles], I’ve got two events left and it would be great to make it four from four."
Jennings next event is the women’s omnium which kicks off on day three with the flying lap.
World Championship debutant Shaw won gold in the kilometre time trial with a personal best time of 1:02.30, 0.65 quicker than second placed Dylan Kennett (NZL) and 1.60 seconds faster than third placed Jakub Vyvoda (CZE).
“I am speechless. I have trained really hard for this and to come out on top is incredible. This has been a dream,” said Shaw.
The boy from country Victoria said he had a lot of family in New Zealand to watch him compete but said celebrations would have to wait until he returned home to Colac.
Shaw's gold was some consolation for the men’s team sprint on day one when Australia was relegated to silver due to an ‘incorrect change’ and he said the setback made him more determined today.
“We were pretty devastated that that had happened and I said to the boys ‘look we’ll bounce back’ and I used all that energy to show them that we can do it again,” he said.
Riding midway through the field, Shaw said he had to control his nerves before and after his ride as he waited to see if his time would remain the fastest.
“I got a bit nervous before my start … the key I think was just to focus on what I had to do instead of all the nerves.
“After I rode there was about nine riders left … all the coaches were around me and as each person didn’t beat my time we breathed a little sigh of relief before the next rider began.
“We were counting down and when it got to two riders left and I was still on top then I knew I was on the podium, then it got down to one and I got really excited,” Shaw explained.
Shaw will also be back in action on day three when he lines up in the men's sprint.
In the night's other final, Evan Hull (VIC) placed in the middle of the field in the men’s 10km scratch race won by Anton Muzychkin of Belarus.
In the women's sprint Caitlin Ward was moved through to the semi finals while in the men's omnium Tirian McManus is sitting second, eight points behind leader Fernando Gaviria Rendon of Colombia after three of six rounds.
Friday’s action will see medals decided in the women’s scratch race, women’s sprint and the men’s omnium.
Results summary after day two
The Australian Junior Cyclones team competing in New Zealand is listed below for reference.