Matthew Richardson is making moves, and he’s doing it with speed.
The 23-year-old arrived on the UCI Track Nations Cup scene with a bang during the opening round of the 2022 season in Glasgow, winning a full medal set and opening plenty of eyes in the process.
Having claimed gold in the team sprint alongside Thomas Cornish and Leigh Hoffman on the first day of competition, the Australian Cycling Team sprinter would add a bronze medal to his tally in the keirin two days later, before an impressive silver medal sprint performance that ended against world champion Harrie Lavreysen.
Matthew Richardson ends the opening #TissotNationsCup with 🥈 in the Men's Sprint 👏@AusCyclingAus · #AusCyclingTeam https://t.co/w8XE8H0S4I— AusCyclingTeam (@AusCyclingTeam) April 24, 2022
It was that result that validated the West Australian’s belief in his continued development over the past two years, which outside of the Tokyo Olympics, has been devoid of international racing.
“I’ve definitely felt a big step within myself and how I execute my performances out on the track,” Richardson said.
“This year has been an awesome one so far, and there is still some work to be done for the big upcoming competitions.
“But I’m happy with where I’m at.”
Left wanting more from his flying 200-metre qualification result of sixth, Richardson went to work in the knockout rounds, ending the day of Great Britain’s 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Jack Carlin in a nail-biting quarter-final.
Richardson then progressed through to the gold medal final in a less than ideal situation, with a crash from Trinidad and Tobago’s Nicholas Paul in their second race bringing down both riders and injuring Paul.
Crash 🚨 in the Men's Sprint Semi-Final— UCI Track Cycling (@UCI_Track) April 24, 2022
Nicholas Paul 🇹🇹 goes down. Matthew Richardson 🇦🇺 has nowhere to go and goes down with him.
Both up and walked off the track ok. #TissotNationsCup pic.twitter.com/oxz1vaSkaV
“Unfortunately, Nicholas couldn’t continue, which meant I progressed through to the gold medal race directly,” Richardson said.
“Getting the opportunity to race the world champion in Lavreysen in that final was awesome.
“And to come away with silver was more than I could have ever asked for.”
The rising star has an opportunity to add more medals to his bag at the second stop of the 2022 UCI Track Nations Cup in Milton, Canada, next week.
“I’m looking to replicate the same processes I had coming into Glasgow,” Richardson said.
“I want to execute the best I can, and the results will hopefully follow.”