Date: Friday, 22 November 2013
Posted by: Cycling Southland

The great Anna Meares showed her class to claim the sprint honours on the final night of the UCI Oceania Track Cycling Championships at Invercargill.

Meares, the 10 time world champion and current Olympic sprint gold medallist, was in stunning form to win every round of the sprint elimination rounds including the best of three final without blemish.

It was the same for compatriot and Olympic bronze medallist Annette Edmondson who took out all six disciplines for a perfect record in the women’s keirin.

It was not such good news for Kiwi world omnium champion Aaron Gate, who had to be content with second place behind Australia’s Luke Davison.

After clawing his way to victory in the UCI Tier One Olympic qualifying event last weekend, a second omnium in a week proved telling for Gate, with the fresh Davison riding with real intelligence today.

Davison started the day with a two point advantage but Gate was far too strong in winning the individual pursuit in 4:25.836 with the Australian second.

The omnium field, reduced to eight after two riders went out as a result of a heavy fall yesterday, turned into a farce when five riders were lapped. While Gate attempted a number of aggressive moves, Davison fought back and had the extra speed in the final lap to claim the victory. That gave the Australian the two point buffer again.

While an injured Dylan Kennett took out the 1000m time trial in a brilliant 1:02.715, Davison finished second while Gate was fourth.

Provisionally Davison finished on 12 points with Gate on 16 while Kiwis Shane Archbold and Kennett both finished on 29 points.

The mighty Meares was absolutely incomparable today, topping qualifiers and then winning every match race with comfort.

This gave the Australian a clean sweep with victories in the 500m time trial, the keirin and sprint in her comeback after seven months off following the Olympic success.

She accounted for fellow Australian Stephanie Morton in the final after the paralympic gold medallist, as a tandem pilot, beat off the challenge from young New Zealander Stephanie McKenzie in two straight rides in the semifinal.

Local Southland sprinter Stephanie McKenzie, a multi world junior medallist, enjoyed her best performance in the elite ranks but had to give way in the ride for bronze in two desperately close rides against London Olympic medallist Kaarle McCulloch.

Earlier today Meares had topped the qualifiers in 11.011, the fastest time recorded in New Zealand although outside the time she set on the way to the gold medal at the London Olympics and her world record of 10.782s.

Edmondson started the second day of the omnium by winning the 3000m individual pursuit in 3:40.220 to pip New Zealand’s Jaime Nielsen by 0.1 seconds.

She made it five in a row with a superbly controlled performance to dominate the 10km scratch race, despite some aggressive riding from Lauren Ellis.

Nielsen pushed her hard in the 500m time trial, but the classy Edmondson was again fastest in 36.124 with the Kiwi second in 36.932, the only two riders under the 37 second mark.

Meanwhile the men’s sprints for the gold and bronze were both pushed to a third and deciding ride late in the night, with Kiwi Eddie Dawkins locked in a battle with Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer.

Earlier the pair set the SIT No Fees Velodrome on fire with the first two sub-10 second performances in qualifying for the 200m men’s print.

 

Dawkins broke his own national record clocking 9.907 seconds before Glaetzer went even faster in an exciting session, timed at a stunning 9.828s to set the fastest sea level time by an Australian.

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