Brisbane's hometown hero Byron Davies won’t be forgetting his maiden national championship any time soon.
The big Queenslander delivered when it mattered most in the elite men’s 1000m time trial final, flipping the script on favourite Thomas Cornish.
Davies roared around Anna Meares Velodrome as the penultimate starter, stopping the clock at 59.517 and placing pressure on Cornish to back up his national record-setting pace from several hours earlier.
HE'S DONE IT! 🙌— SBS Sport (@SBSSportau) March 17, 2023
Queensland's Byron Davies has overcome Thomas Cornish to win GOLD in the elite men's Time Trial! 🥇👏
Watch Day 3 of the Australian Track National Championships right now via @SBSOnDemand! 🚲🇦🇺#couchpeloton #TrackNats23
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As Cornish rounded the finish straight for his final lap, the split time pendulum swung back in Davies’ favour, and at that moment, he knew what was coming.
“When he came through the last split and he was down I kind of knew it was in the bag then because there’s no coming back in the kilo on the last lap,” Davies said.
“I’ve worked pretty hard over the last couple of years and I’m pretty stoked to finally get a green and gold jersey.
“Jordan Kerby was there with me so it was a pretty cool moment because he was one of the first guys who made me get into the track a few years ago.”
Much like the elite women’s time trial winner McCaig, Davies didn’t hold the throttle wide open in qualifying in what were amazing conditions for fast times, but said what Cornish was able to do in that session was special.
“Conditions were crazy good, so I don’t know how much quicker I could have gone, but I don’t think it would’ve been as quick as Tom’s record.
“But my next goal is definitely to go 58 now he has unlocked it.”
Cornish’s silver medal was a bittersweet end to a day that started with fireworks, becoming the first Australian in history to dip into the 58-second marker with a 58.942.
While unable to back that up with a gold medal, the New South Welshman took solace in finally eclipsing Matthew Glaetzer’s previous national record.
“I’d been checking the conditions in the track every day and I knew that they normally started to drop off going into the night. So I thought if I wanted the record the best time for me to do it was during the day,” Cornish said.
“Getting that time was just relief honestly, walking into the track for racing every day and seeing all of the records on the wall of the velodrome here is motivating and I’m very happy to be able to add my name to it.
“I’ll hopefully be able to have another crack at the kilo at worlds this year when I’m tapered, and that would be the first time in a while that I’ll see what I can do on the world stage.”
Defending champion Josh Duffy finished with bronze.