Sophie Edwards fights off surprise challenge to win elite women's individual pursuit crown


Sophie Edwards locked down the first individual pursuit national title of her career on the first night of 2023 TrackNats, edging out Australian Capital Territory surprise packet Claudia Marcks in the gold medal final.

Edwards shaved off just over a second from her qualifying time earlier in the day to snatch victory, finishing her 3000m pursuit in 3:32.458 to Marcks’ 3:34.030.

The South Australian said she was delighted with her processes throughout the whole day to claim her fourth elite track national championship.

“I’m really happy I was able to refocus and go even faster in the final, which was my goal after stepping off the track after qualifying,” Edwards said.

“It was nice to see I had the legs to back it up.

“The IP is something I’m definitely working on, there’s a lot of things that have to come together to get a good result, from your aerodynamic drag to your fitness, to really nailing the specificity of efforts you do in the lead-up.

“So, I think for the first race of TrackNats, of what is going to be a really long block of three weeks with Oceanias and then the road racing too, makes it a happy way to start and I’ll see where I can take it from here.”

Edwards’ summer of cycling was one of the heaviest road racing blocks she has had in her young career, and learning to balance that with the boards is one that she feels she is starting to work out.

Perfecting that balance is still the main challenge, as Edwards touched on post-race.

“Look, I haven’t got the track legs that I will want come Worlds in August but I’m really happy with where I am at this point in time within of a mixed prep I’ve had lately,” Edwards said.

“I had quite a short and sweet track block coming off of the road racing in January. It was literally only a week and a half on the track before Jakarta (UCI Track Nations Cup) three weeks ago.”

The 2023 TrackNats elite women's individual pursuit podium. Picture: Josh Chadwick

Western Australian Isla Carr rounded out the elite women’s IP podium with bronze.

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Feature picture: Josh Chadwick
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