Under 19 Champions. Photo: Con Chronis
Moroney-Plouffe and Cuff break through to claim under 19 omnium crowns
(SA) and Stephen Cuff
(NSW) broke through to claim their first individual track national titles at the 2017 Cycling Australian Omnium Track National Championships, on Thursday December 15.
With a change in the UCI rules post the Rio Olympic Games to a four event bunch race format (scratch, tempo, elimination and points race) held in a single day. With the 2017 championships the first time the national title was awarded under the new format.
Under 19 Women's Omnium
Rising South Australian Maeve Moroney-Plouffe was in flying form as she claimed a hotly contested under 19 women's omnium.
Moroney-Plouffe's lead was tested during an active points race, but she was able to overcome the challenges to take victory on 136 points, with silver going to Martin-Wallace on 130 and Alice Culling (VIC-123).
"First individual track title and I am really excited. I didn’t expect it at all, I just came here with the goal of riding my own races," said Moroney-Plouffe who claimed the under 17 time trial title in 2015.
"I was lucky I won three of the four (races), but with Alex [Martin-Wallace] taking three seconds, it meant I only had a six point buffer heading into the final race. So I had to stay alert for every single sprint because her and Jade [Haines] were on my wheel every single time."
A former swimmer and surf lifesaver, Moroney-Plouffe only started racing cycling three years ago after being identified as a potential kayaker and cyclist in the South Australain Institute of Sport Talent Idenitification program.
"I originally through the cycling flyer in the bin, but I ended up coming out one of the come and try sessions at the Super-Drome in Adelaide and I absolutely fell in love with it.
"I wasn't very good at first, I don’t think I made a final in any National Junior Track Series event for the first two years, it was only in the last year so I started getting the hang of things. But I just love the sport so much I want to keep doing it."
Under 19 Men's Omnium
In just his third ever omnium Stephen Cuff (NSW), claimed the 2017 national title, following second at the NSW state titles and bronze at last week’s Oceania Championships.
Consistent performances in the opening three rounds including winning the tempo and elimination race meant Cuff went in to the points race on 118 points, 14 clear of Cooper Sayers (SA).
Cuff added 10 points to his tally to finish on 128, with silver going to Sayers on 112 and Jarrad Drizners (SA-109) rounding out the podium.
"It's a very good feeling," said Cuff, who claimed a team pursuit title as an under 17.
"It was my first international last week [at Oceania Championships], and now to come here and be even better, it is great.
"I kept riding how I usually ride, saved my energy, rather than going all out I held back during the races and it paid off."