Matthew Glaetzer (SA) knows what it means to go deep.
The triple-Olympian did just that on night one of the 2022 AusCycling Elite, Under-19, and Para Track Championships, winning his fifth elite men’s sprint national title in a manner that signals the South Australian is back to his best.
The 29-year-old failed to drop a matchup all day at Brisbane’s Anna Meares Velodrome after qualifying second behind defending back-to-back champion Matthew Richardson (WA), who he would go on to defeat in the gold medal final.
“This is a big one. Didn’t really expect to be in this condition after starting training three or four months ag,” Glaetzer said.
“(I) had a big holiday after the (Olympic) Games and I’m just rebuilding for the Commonwealth Games later this year.
“This was just a chance to get into the race head again and (I) went deep tonight – I'm in absolute bits at the moment.
“Really, really happy to get the win – there was some tough racing out there and I was pushed all the way.”
New South Welshman Thomas Cornish rounded out the podium in third, defeating the surprise packet of the day in young Queenslander Byron Davies.
A cool, calm and collected Alexandra Martin-Wallace (QLD) reclaimed the elite women’s scratch national championship to kickstart the women’s endurance schedule in Brisbane.
The Sunshine Coast product was able to finish off a well-executed lead out by Queensland teammate Hayley Jones to pip Victorian Alyssa Polites at the line.
“It’s good to have someone to chase in front of me, it’s also really nice to have four Queenslanders in the field, “ Martin-Wallace said.
“We haven’t really had that in the past so it’s pretty cool to have Queensland represented well.
“I went into with a pretty relaxed mindset, I just wanted to execute a good race plan and so I hadn’t really been thinking about the result, so when I won I was pretty stoked.
“It’s great to start the week off well and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week.”
Western Australia’s Dharlia Haines finished third but was later disqualified for a non-compliant bike that exceeded the maximum bar reach permitted.
South Australian 18-year-old Zac Marriage has claimed a breakthrough win at the first time of asking at the elite level, stunning a deep elite men’s field in the dying stages of the 160-laps to grab gold.
The final 30 laps of the elite men’s points race was deserving conclusion to one of the biggest points race fields seen at the Track Nationals in several years, with 24 riders on the start list.
Marriage’s path to victory began with an opportunistic lap-gain in a chaotic finale, with the only sprint points he received all night coming just before his group at the head of the race made the catch of the main bunch.
The three points earned from that the 10-laps to go sprint proved vital, with the teenager besting teammate Oliver Bleddyn by one point to win the title.
“The last couple of laps were pretty hectic, I was just going as hard as I could and when I looked up at the board and heard the commentator speaking it was pretty surreal,” Marriage said.
“We knew Oli (Bleddyn) is going really well at the moment and he has a really good sprint so I could just kind of ride my race and see how I went.”
Australia’s number one sprinter has continued her dominance at the national level, winning her third elite women’s keirin championship on the trot to the delight of the home crowd.
Clonan looked at ease throughout the evening session’s racing, controlling each round en route to the final where she would eventually prove too strong for her proactive rivals.
The win is the perfect start to Clonan’s #TrackNats22 and season at large, with her international racing ambitions beckoning in the coming months.
“We’ve got a big year coming ahead … definitely a lot of things coming up and this is a good way to kickstart it,” Clonan said.
“All the girls are quite proactive rather than reactive and that just goes to show just how much we’ve been training and how strong all the girls are, so definitely a good field and I’m very keen to be moving forward as a collective group.
“Looking forward I’ve got the 500m time trial at the end of the week which I’d be keen to lay down a good time for, they’ve (Queensland) also put me as the starter for the team sprint so I’m keen to be in the gate and see what that lap can be.”
Australia’s best track cyclists in the Elite, Para, plus Under 19, 17 and 15 categories will race for the coveted green and gold national champion jerseys from March 24-30 at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane.
Riders to Watch!
The 2022 AusCycling Track National Championships is part of the Brisbane Cycling Festival 2022. It is proudly supported by Brisbane City Council, through Brisbane Economic Development Agency and the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.
Tickets available at the door or online.
Results via the official results page.
Pictures: John Veage