Birthday joy for Martin-Wallace
Alexandra Martin-Wallace made it a birthday to remember on day 5 of the 2021 AusCycling Track National Championships, claiming a big win in the elite women’s scratch race.
Queensland’s Martin-Wallace had toiled hard all week-long for no podium reward but was able to turn her fortunes around in the final elite women’s race of the program.
Zipping up the green and gold jersey was a special moment for the Australian Cycling Team Podium Potential Academy member, who was celebrating her 21st birthday.
The South Australian duo of Moran and Breanna Hargrave rounded out the podium in the silver and bronze medal positions.
Plowright proves too strong in elite men’s points race
Less than 24 hours after slamming into the Anna Meares Velodrome boards in a brutal crash, Victoria’s Jensen Plowright was back to his brilliant best.
Plowright was a man on a mission throughout the 160-lap epic of the elite men’s points race, which was a battle of attrition that saw only nine riders finish.
A solo surge from Plowright with 48 laps to go laid the platform for his win, and despite a late desperate all-in effort from Queensland’s James Moriarty, the Victorian remained in control of proceedings.
The victory was Plowright’s third national title for the Championships after earlier successes in the team pursuit and omnium.
Victoria storm to team sprint gold and record
An early glimpse into Victoria’s elite women’s sprint future was on display in the team sprint event on day 5.
U19 sprint sensation Alessia McCaig and Hayley Jenkins stepped up to the elite ranks to join Caitlin Ward for Victoria. The trio did not miss a beat, winning the gold medal final versus Queensland by 0.37 seconds.
A national record accompanied the Victorians’ win as it was the first-ever women’s team sprint contested in the new three-rider format recently introduced by the UCI (49.849secs)
Keirin national title won by Richardson
The Malaysian one-two punch of Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and Muhummas Shar proved too much to handle for the Australian contingent of sprinters in the elite men’s keirin 1-6 final, with Shar taking gold and Awang the silver.
Two-time national sprint champion Matthew Richardson finished in the bronze medal position and was crowned the national champion.
Stars of the future show their strength
Alyssa Polites and Hamish McKenzie wrapped up the U19 events at the Championships by winning the final two national titles on offer.
Polites proved too strong in the U19 women’s points race, and McKenzie powered home to a gold medal in the U19 men’s individual pursuit with a time of 3:16.830secs, which was an eight-second personal best time.
Polites’ fourth national title of the week confirms Victorian domination in the U19 women events, largely thanks to the exploits of herself, plus Alessia McCaig and Lucinda Stewart.
The trio won a combined total of 11 gold medals over five days of racing at the Championships.
They said it
“It’s pretty good – it’s been a long week, so I’m glad to finish it off well. It (scratch race) wasn’t the focus. There were other things I was prioritising, but I always love a scratch race, so it’s good to get the win. It’s always good to finish well.” – Alexandra Martin-Wallace
“It’s pretty epic, and I guess we didn’t realise that we broke the Aussie record when we rode in, so to hear that, as well as winning, was beyond belief. We didn’t know what to expect, and we’d never ridden a team sprint together. I’m so proud of the girls – it would’ve been a little scary coming to the elite ranks, and they’ve both shined so big this week, so for them to shine in this race as well was pretty special.” – Caitlin Ward
“That was a proper rough race. With 100 laps to go, everyone was on their knees, and I came good at that point in time. I went off the front with sixty laps to go and stayed out there for 10 laps and cleaned up a couple of sprints. I always come good towards the end, so I was banking on that a bit.” – Jensen Plowright
“It’s a bit bittersweet, you know; you want those guys to be able to get the jersey because out there, they raced the better race. To have the internationals there, Awang is an ex-world champion, and it brings nationals to another level. That was a bit tight coming into the bell; I just had to hold my position and wait for him (Carisimo) to die off the hip to leave me the space to run at Awang. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the legs to come around but managed to hold on for third.” – Matthew Richardson
“I’m so stoked, to be honest. I came into it thinking I wasn’t going to be that close … it was like an eight-second PB. I got into a good rhythm this morning and then felt like I had a little bit left to go, so in the final, I rode off my schedule and then hit it with about four laps to go and just emptied myself.” – Hamish McKenzie
Medallists Day 5
Event 100: Under 19 Women Points Race Final
80 Laps 20km - Result
Alyssa POLITES (VIC)
Isabelle CARNES (QLD)
Lucinda STEWART (VIC)
Event 102a: Under 19 Men Individual Pursuit Bronze Final
12 Laps 3000m
Cameron ROGERS (ACT)
Event 102b: Under 19 Men Individual Pursuit Gold Final
12 Laps 3000m
Hamish MCKENZIE (TAS)
Leo ZIMMERMANN (SA)
Event 103a : Elite Women Team Sprint Final Bronze Final
South Australia (Breanna HARGRAVE, Ella SIBLEY, Lara TUCKER)
Event 103b : Elite Women Team Sprint Final Gold Final
Victoria (Caitlin WARD, Hayley JENKINS, Alessia MCCAIG)
Queensland (Kristina CLONAN, Jacqui MENGLER-MOHR, Liliana MCLENNAN)
Event 104b : Elite Men Keirin Final 1-6
Muhummas SHAR (MYS)
Mohd AZIZULHASNI (MYS)
Matthew RICHARDSON (WA)
Event 105: Elite Women Scratch Race Final
40 Laps 15km
Alexandra MARTIN-WALLACE (QLD)
Chloe MORAN (SA)
Breanna HARGRAVE (SA)
Event 106: Elite Men Points Race Final
160 Laps 20km
Jensen PLOWRIGHT (VIC)
Kurt EATHER (NSW)
Ryan SCHILT (NLD)
The AusCycling Track National Championships will feature 38 national titles contested over five days of cycling action at the Anna Meares Velodrome from 24-28 March and headlines the 2021 Brisbane Cycling Festival schedule, which will run 24 March – 12 April.
It is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland, and the Brisbane City Council through Brisbane Economic Development Agency, and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.