Kristina Clonan survives new pressure to claim sprint national championship four-peat


Australia’s leading women’s sprinter Kristina Clonan has won her fourth sprint crown in a row in a fierce battle with youngster Alessia McCaig.

Clonan was pushed to the maximum in the gold medal final by 19-year-old McCaig, but the Queenslander showed her class to keep the teenager at bay, despite not being in top form.

The tussle between Clonan and McCaig is likely the first of many in the coming years and Clonan knows her supremacy over women’s sprinting will continue to become tougher to maintain.

Kristina Clonan was pressured all the way to the line by Alessia McCaig. Picture: Josh Chadwick

“Alessia is taking strides so it’s awesome to have some competition in Australia,” Clonan said.

“It was really good racing and we’re going into Oceanias next week so it’s good to be able to race and put some tactics down as we move forward.”

Clonan has her eyes firmly set on a big performance at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow and said she has already started laying the foundations to achieve that.

“I’ll peak in Glasgow for the world championships,” Clonan said.

Kristina Clonan has now won four sprint nationals on the trot. Picture: Josh Chadwick

“I’m in the crux of a pretty big block of training which made this win a little harder but I’ll take it.”

Clonan has elected to forego defending her 500m Time Trial title on Day 3 of TrackNats and will instead freshen up for a full tilt at the team sprint.

"I've chosen to put all my eggs into the team sprint basket with the Queensland girls to try and get that one back,” she said.

Breanna Hargrave finished with bronze to close out the elite women's sprint podium.

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Feature picture: Josh Chadwick
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