Pride on the line for Western Australia at Tracknats
CA MEDIA RELEASE
2012 London Olympians Scott Sunderland and Melissa Hoskins have been named in the West Australian track cycling team that will make the trip to Sydney for the 2013 Subaru Cycling Australia Track National Championships, January 30 to February 2.
During the four-day event at Dunc Gray Veldorome, the pair will be pitted against their world championship and London Olympic Games teammates in their respective events, with both eagerly anticipating the challenges that await.
Scott Sunderland, 24, claimed a memorable maiden world title last April in Melbourne, teaming with Shane Perkins (VIC) and Matthew Glaetzer (SA) to win a dramatic men’s sprint event. The trio then finished a gallant fourth in London behind powerhouses Great Britain, France and Germany.
Despite Perkins’ late withdrawal from the National Championships due to shoulder surgery, Sunderland still faces fierce competition in the men’s sprint events from the likes of Glaetzer, reigning national sprint champion Alex Bird (ACT) and Mexico Track World Cup Cyclones Mitch Bullen and Peter Lewis (NSW).
Beijing Olympian Daniel Ellis (ACT), former Cyclone in Jason Niblett (SA) and dual 2012 junior world champion Jacob Schmid (VIC) will also feature.
“Australia has a very high quality men’s sprint field at the moment with sprinters academies in all the institutes, so certainly the competition has got a lot stronger,” said Sunderland, who claimed the 2010 Australian keirin crown.
Following his disappointment of missing a medal in London, Sunderland travelled to Japan for the lucrative Japanese keirin season with Perkins and , something which has helped shape the young cyclists future.
“Competing at Japan has certainly helped with finding new goals after the Olympics, I’ve come back to Australia hungry to get back to where I left off,” Sunderland explained.
“To finish fourth at the Olympics, it has left me with a lot more confidence in myself, but it has definitely left us all wanting more and I am committed to making up for that.
“We all want to perform well and be selected for the world championships team so we can hopefully defend our team sprint title.
“But first, I would love to have a great result in Sydney and get another green and gold jersey,” Sunderland added.
In the women’s events, the versatile Hoskins will lead the WA women’s endurance team following a superb 2012 season in which she collected a silver medal and both the UCI Track and Road World Championships.
On her Olympic debut in London, Hoskins was a member of the team pursuit trio (with Annette Edmondson and Josie Tomic) which set an Australian record on the way to finishing fourth behind Great Britain, the United States and Canada.
Following a short break after the Road Worlds, Hoskins has continued her stellar form, opening the 2013 season with victory in the Jayco Bay Criterium Series.
“It was important for me to kick off the year well at Bay Crits as it goes a long way in setting up the year,” Hoskins said, who has shared her preparation for Track Nationals between the national endurance squad camp in Adelaide and the ORICA-AIS team camp in Canberra.
“The camp is the best way for me to get my track legs back and to get a gauge of how I am going, not just in the team pursuit, but most importantly in the bunch races.”
Hoskins will line up in one of the best women’s endurance fields seen in many years at a National Championships, with fellow Olympians Edmondson (SA) and Amy Cure (TAS), plus four-time 2013 Oceania gold medalist Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW) all confirmed entrants.
Hoskins has also highlighted dual Glasgow World Cup gold medalist Isabella King (WA) and last week’s Mexico world cup silver medalist Rebecca Wiasak (ACT) as ones to watch.
“Coming off an Olympic year, a lot of countries have a lull in the number and quality of riders around, but we have the opposite problem,” explained Hoskins, who despite her international success, is still chasing her maiden individual national title.
“People have asked me ‘How do nationals compare once you’ve ridden at the Olympics’, and for me, I think it’s more competitive than ever.
“At the start of 2013, I wrote down all my goals for the year and one of them was to win an individual national title, but with people like Nettie and Ash who are in sensational form, it’s going to be a tough ask.
“With the quality of women’s riders we have in Australia at the moment, there is no chance to relax, you don’t have time to take a breath.
"Everyone wants to beat you,” Hoskins added.
Western Australia has claimed all five women’s team pursuit titles on offer since the event was introduced in 2008, with Hoskins taking part in all five victories.
In 2013, Hoskins is likely to team with King, 20, and dual-2012 junior world champion Kelsey Robson, 17, with Hoskins defending champion team mates Sarah Kent and Tomic absent from the 2013 Championships.
“The team pursuit crown is something you never want to let it go, particularly with the record we have with it,” remarked Hoskins. “It is another one I hold with a lot of pride and it’s all about pride.
"There is nothing better than donning your state skin suit and lining up against the other states. Fingers crossed we have enough to hold the other states and I am not ready to give it up,” she added.
The 2013 Subaru Cycling Australia Track National Championships will be held at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome from 30 January to 2 February, 2013.
The Championships are live from 7:30pm on Friday 1 February and Saturday 2 February on SBS TWO.
Follow the action online:
- Website http://tracknationals.subaru.com.au/
- Twitter https://twitter.com/CyclingAusTrack
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CyclingAusTrack
- Live results http://tracknationals.subaru.com.au/senior/results/
- Live Stream - From 7:30pm on Friday 1 February and Saturday 2 February at www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral