Amy Cure (file) has won the 25km women’s points race at the track national cycling in Brisbane. Cyclist Stephanie Morton (file) has easily defended her women’s national sprint title in Brisbane.
More than two hours of heavy lifting in an early morning leg session at the gym wasn’t enough to slow Stephanie Morton as she charged to back-to-back national sprint crowns in Brisbane.
Morton was too quick for Caitlin Ward in Saturday night’s final at the Anna Meares Velodrome, defending her national title with ease on the same track she’ll aim for back-to-back Commonwealth Games sprint titles in April.
Ward had upset 13-time national champion Kaarle McCulloch, who had beaten Morton in Friday’s 500m time trial final, to reach the final.
But she was no match for Morton despite the fatigue, with the race-day gym session a clear indication of where the focus was.
A full house cheered Morton’s name as she won in the velodrome named after the five-time Olympic medallist many hope she can succeed.
“It’s always leg day for us,” the 25-year-old quipped of her pre-race activities.
“We had some pretty big lifts … your body’s telling you ‘no I’m tired’ but your mind’s saying ‘no you’ve got to come out and win a national title tonight’.
“(At an Olympics or Commonwealth Games) your body can be screaming from four days of racing and you’ve got to tell it to shut up and that you’ve got a job to do.”
Also on Saturday, Matthew Glaetzer added another highlight after Thursday’s record-breaking time-trial win with a commanding victory in the men’s sprint over Jacob Schmid.
The men’s sprint field was thrown wide open after reigning champion Pat Constable was caught off guard by Victorian Tyler Meunier in Friday’s qualifying stage.
“It’s the big one; it’s the blue ribband of track sprinting and it’s one I really wanted to win,” Glaetzer said.
Earlier, defending champion Amy Cure held off surprise packet Kristina Clonan to win the national 25km, 100-lap points race title in a thrilling last-lap sprint finish.
Clonan won the 90th-lap sprint to edge within three points of the 2014 world champion and Rio Olympian and set up a two-woman tussle for the title.
The crowd favourite had a chance to steal the win on the second-last turn, with double points on offer, but missed her narrow opening on the inside and was boxed out as Cure enjoyed a clear run to the line.
Cure finished with 25 points in 31:46.72 minutes, five ahead of Clonan with Ashlee Ankudinoff third a further two points back.
Joshua Harrison capped a big day at the track with a gutsy win in the men’s 15km scratch race ahead of Stephen Hall and Rohan Wight.
The South set the early pace then out-sprinted a pack of five in what were a brutal final few laps.