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  Matthew Glaetzer and Stephanie Morton grab sprint titles as bunch races excite at Australian Track Championships  
 
  February 3rd 2018  
   
  Matthew Glaetzer celebrates his sprint victory. Photo: Tim Bardsley-Smith  
     
  Matthew Glaetzer (South Australia) claimed his fourth Australia sprint crown on the penultimate day of the 2018 Australian National Championships unleashing his well-known turn of speed to pull on the green and gold jersey ahead of Jacob Schmid (Victoria). Thomas Clarke (South Australia) broke through for his maiden sprint medal with bronze.

Stephanie Morton made it a South Australian lockout of the elite sprint competition winning the women's crown in convincing style ahead of rising star Caitlin Ward (Victoria) as former champion Kaarle McCulloch (New South Wales) completed the podium.

2014 world champion Amy Cure (Tasmania) showed why she is one of the best bunch race riders in the world, taking back to back gold in the women's points race ahead of Kristina Clonan (Queensland) and Ashlee Ankudinoff (New South Wales).

Joshua Harrison stormed home to gold in the men's scratch race, claiming his first individual national title ahead of Stephen Hall (Western Australia) and Rohan Wight (South Australia).

In under 19 events Ashlee Jones and Sarah Gigante (Victoria) took out the first ever under 19 women's Madison, Blake Quick added a third track national title with gold in the points race and the keirin titles went to Victoria with Sam Gallagher taking the men's and Alana Field the women's.

Men's and Women's Sprint

After making an early exit a year ago Glaetzer reclaimed the elite men's sprint crown solidifying his status as Australia's fastest sprinter ahead of Schmid and Clarke. Having qualified fastest yesterday Glaetzer breezed through the rounds beating Conor Rowley (Victoria) and Thomas Clarke (South Australia) to set up the ride for gold against Schmid.

The experienced Glaetzer was too strong for Schmid who pushed his Australian Cycling Team teammate to the line in both rides.

One of the rides of the championships came from Clarke, who having claimed his maiden Australian Champions jersey on Thursday stepped up again to snare bronze, his first individual medal in the event.

The speed of reigning Commonwealth Games Champion Morton was on display throughout the women's competition. After qualifying in one of the fastest times ever set on Australian soil she dispatched Rikki Belder (South Australia) and Maddie Janssen (Victoria) to reach the final against rising star Ward.

Ward beat Selina Ho (New South Wales) and Holly Takos (South Australia) before upsetting McCulloch to make her first sprint final.

The young Victorian who is a former junior world championship medallist took the race to Morton in both rides, though the experience and power of Morton was too much.

In the ride for bronze former tandem pilot Maddie Janssen took the opening ride before McCulloch's experience proved saw her take the next two and the bronze medal.

Women's Points Race

Cure claimed back to back titles in a stunning display of tactics and speed ahead of Clonan and Ankudinoff with Australia's best battling it out over 100 laps.

The first attack came from Josie Talbot (New South Wales) who quickly took more than half a lap on the field before paying the price for her brutal acceleration. Next to try their luck was Alex Manly (South Australia) who was initially awarded a lap and jumped in to the lead just before the half way point, the lap was eventually taken off Manly and she would later go on to lose a lap creating confusion in both the race and the stands.

The final 20 laps saw continual attacks as riders attempted to shake up the race, though with Cure, Clonan, Ankudinoff and Georgia Baker (Tasmania) all fighting for the podium spots the race was back together for the sprints as the experience names left little to chance. A late attack by Annette Edmondson and Manly briefly looked promising only to again be chased down.

In the end there was to be no stopping Cure as she defended her title on 24 points, narrowly holding off Clonan on 19 as Ankudinoff grabbed the final spot on the podium on countback on 17 ahead of Baker.

Men's Scratch Race

Oceania Champion Harrison again proved his bunch race pedigree spending 30 of the 60 laps off the front on route to the gold medal from a select group ahead of Hall and Wight. The hectic race was on from the start with the speed quickly eliminating riders with only six of 18 starters remaining at the finish.

With 15 laps to go Harrison, Hall, Daniel Fitter (Queensland) and Cameron Scott (New South Wales) held about a third of a lap advantage on the field with the bunch behind lead by Victoria trying to set up Leigh Howard for the win. With the bunch not willing to let gold slip away riders made a last-ditch effort to go across.

As the field hit four laps to go just Hall, Harrison, Wight, Howard, Jordan Kerby (Queensland) and Cooper Sayers (South Australia) remained in the race.

Hall jumped early as the bell sounded with one to go and looked to be riding to victory until Harrison unleashed his sprint, surging to the line with time to celebrate.

Under 19 Women's Madison

Ashlee Jones and Sarah Gigante (Victoria) claimed the first Australian women's Madison title having taking a lap mid way through the 80 lap race to finish on 40 points. Silver went to a second Victorian pair of Alice Culling and Jemma Eastwood on 34 with Queensland's Alex Martin-Wallace and Emma Green completing the podium on 20.

Under 19 Men's Points Race

A vocal Queensland crowed roared home a 1-2 finish with Blake Quick unleashing his phenomenal turn of speed in the final sprint to take 10 points and snatch gold on 20 points, ahead of his teammate Blake Moriarty tied on 20 who had lead for much of the race. Bronze went to Bill Simpson (Victoria) on 15.

Under 19 Keirin

Victoria's Sam Gallagher made easy work of the keirin final surfing through an open gap to surge clear to the line to claim gold. Oliver Booth (Victoria) and Thomas Cornish (New South Wales) completed the podium in a fast paced six lap race.

Alana Field (Victoria) produced a late surge to claim gold in the under 19 women's keirin edging out Heather May (South Australia) who just fell short on the line. Elizabeth Nuspan (Victoria) completed the podium just overtaking dual national champion Brooklyn Vonderwall (South Australia) who went with a lap to go on the line.
 
 
       
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