Peloton Watch
  Annette Edmondson debuts rainbow jersey at ITS Adelaide  
  June 6th 2015  
  For Australia's Omnium Queen Annette Edmondson pulling on a rainbow jersey has been something she has been chasing for a long time. After two World Championships as a junior and three more in the senior ranks Edmondson was ready to strike. The opportunity came not just once but twice across the week at 2015 World Championships at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France.

An increased focus on the team pursuit had seen Edmondson along with Melissa Hoskins, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Amy Cure break the Australian record in January at the Australian Championships.

In what might have seen as a surprise victory in some quarters the Australian quartet stormed to victory on the second day of competition in the team pursuit. Not only did Australia take a dominant victory but set a new World Record of 4 minutes 13.683 seconds, taking nearly three seconds off the former time.

"It was an amazing feeling," said Edmondson with a huge smile on her face as she described the feeling of breaking a world record. "We had gone out there just to win the World Championships so to actually come home with a World Record was an incredible bonus.

"When we crossed the line and saw our coach Gary Sutton celebrating we were so excited to have won the world title it wasn't for about three laps we actually looked up at the score board and realised that we had actually broken the World Record.

"That was so so crazy," added Edmondson.

For Edmondson who has been part of the Australian team for the past four World Championships and collected seven medals from seven events collecting a rainbow jersey has been a long time coming. One the most consistent riders Edmondson has been agonisingly close to rainbows on several occasions. With teammates Hoskins, Ankudinoff and Cure all having claimed a rainbow jersey at either junior or senior level Edmondson was happy to join them. "It is a big relief to win a world title absolutely," explained Edmondson. "It was a strange feeling though once I walked off the podium it was kind of like now what?"

It has been over four months since that day in Paris and the sense of relief and achievement is still there. "It still hasn't sunk in. I know it has been four months or so since but it is just a crazy crazy feeling."

While many see cycling as an individual sport and on the track while many events are raced as individuals and without another rider from your country on the track at World level the team pursuit brings that team structure back. "Absolutely winning with Amy, Ash and Mel made it more special.

"It was really nice to win an individual medal but to be able to stand on the podium and share it with three other people who you have spent day after day with them for the last three or four years putting their heart and soul in to their training alongside you. It is so nice to be able to stand up there and share that moment and sing the national anthem together."

Claiming a maiden rainbow jersey in the team pursuit was just the start of things to come for Edmondson with her 2015 World Championship campaign about to get even better. Initially the plan for 2015 had been for Edmondson not to ride the omnium though a combination of factors lead to Nettie taking the start and eyeing a second rainbow jersey.

The Olympic bronze medallist and rival to the two other leading omnium riders Laura Trott and Sarah Hammer was relaxed after her first world title. "Having won the team pursuit did take the pressure off," said Edmondson. "The team pursuit was our focus and it has been for the last year. We have really amped up thing with that side of things.

"Amy Cure had to make a sacrifice and not ride the points race because we were focusing on the team pursuit so it was nice for me to be able to ride the omnium afterwards. Of course I took it on with all I had and I really had to focus completely on that after we had won but yeah it did ease the pressure."

After some team commitments in Europe with Wiggle Honda and some time with family it was back to Australia to recover for the second part of her season. A quick trip to China to race the Tour of Chongming Island, a race Edmondson won as a first year professional on the road in 2013 in May before it was back to the track.

Lining up for the first time in the rainbow jersey was a special moment for Edmondson as it was on her home track in Adelaide. "Yeah it was pretty special. I can't believe it," revealed Edmondson. "My dad was even saying out of all the places in the world that I could wear this jersey for the first time and it happens to be my home town.

"To be able to look up in the crowd and see people I recognise smiling back, waving and cheering for me is a pretty crazy feeling. It was seriously surreal to be riding around with these rainbows around my waist."

Edmondson with the rainbow stripes on her back was a dominant force claiming both omniums at ITS Adelaide.

While the schedule of World Cups and Championships is often packed with little chance to recover the schedule at ITS made for a busy five days of racing. With the elite riders competing in an omnium over the first two days before a day off and another omnium on day four and five. "It is hard to back up for two omniums.

"I think I made it to about mid day on day five and I was fine but then it has really hit me in the afternoon. It had caught up with a lot of people though I think you could see everyone was getting a little bit tired.

With UCI points to qualifying for the 2015/16 World Cup season as well as the 2016 World Championships and Rio Olympics on the cards the entire field was chasing points. "We were all here for points and I think a lot of people have achieved that so the job is done. That is what we came out for."

The latest UCI Eligibility Ranking the formula for ranking riders ahead of the World Cup season has seen Edmondson rocket to number one off the back of her two wins in Adelaide.
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