NSW primed for strong Tracknats performance on home track
CA MEDIA RELEASE
Thursday January 17
London Olympic bronze medallist Kaarle McCulloch and pocket dynamo Caleb Ewan have been named in the New South Wales team for the Subaru 2013 Cycling Australia Track Cycling Championships to be held at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome from 30 January to 2 February, 2013.
McCulloch, who partnered Anna Meares to win bronze in the team sprint at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will be aiming to add to her impressive career tally of national titles when she lines up in the sprint events.
McCulloch has claimed ten career senior Australian crowns on the track, including a four gold medal haul at the 2010 Championships, after which she was awarded the Champion of Champions trophy.
While Meares’ absence from the South Australian team named last week makes McCulloch one of the favourites in Sydney, the soon to be 25-year-old expects strong opposition from a number of riders and as highlighted Steph Morton as one of her main challengers.
“It’s always a pity not having Anna around because she always brings out the best in me,” said McCulloch, who will be joined in the sprint ranks by Stefanie Fernandez-Preiska.
“But there is a few up-and-coming girls from South Australia and Queensland who will be quite a challenge.
“Steph Morton took the Oceania keirin title off me so I’m definitely looking to get a little bit of revenge back in the keirin,” McCulloch added.
In the women’s endurance events, Ashlee Ankudinoff, 22, will look to continue her successful summer track season when she lines up.
The dual Glasgow Track World Cup silver medallist was outstanding at November’s 2013 Oceania Championships in Adelaide where she won four gold medals in the team and individual pursuits, plus the points and scratch races.
Despite being just 18 years of age, Caleb Ewan will headline the men’s team, with the teenager having accumulated a stunning list of results and achievements in his short career.
The 2011 omnium junior world champion has been mixing his time between the road and track during the past year, winning silver in the under-23 road race at the world championships last September and most recently becoming the youngest ever winner of the Jayco Bay Criterium Series in Melbourne.
Although Ewan first track training session since contesting November’s Oceania Championships came just a few days ago, the Southern Highlands cyclist is looking forward to the challenge ahead.
“I haven’t had any track training since Oceania, but I have had a good block of road training and racing since then,” said Ewan. “So, for a first session, yesterday wasn’t too bad.
“Give me another two weeks from now, and my track legs will be back,” Ewan remarked.
Ewan has become the face of Australian cycling’s generation-next, with the 18-year-old’s every move being watched and noted by competitors in every race.
Heading into the Track Championships however, Ewan hopes the presence of some of Australia’s Olympic stars in Glenn O’Shea and Alex Edmondson will take the pressure off.
“Sure I will be marked in the bunch races, I mean I think wherever I go now, I will be heavily marked,” Ewan explained.
“But not as much as the road, and maybe in Sydney, given I will be up against the likes of Glenn and Alex, hopefully they won’t be focussing on me too much.
“I hope so anyway, as I like being the underdog,” he added.
Andrew Taylor, 27, will lead a young sprint team which includes recently named Cyclones team members for the Mexico Track World Cup round this weekend in Mitchell Bullen, 21, and Peter Lewis, 22. Lewis claimed one of Australia’s four silver medals in the Glasgow round in November, while Bullen makes his Cyclones debut.
Also making his Cyclones debut in Mexico is Tirian McManus, 18, who will don the NSW blue alongside Ewan in the endurance events.
The U19 team boats one of Australia’s most promising cycling prospects in Jack Edwards, the reigning individual pursuit champion, scratch, team sprint and omnium champion.
2013 Australian Olympic Youth Festival representatives Michael Docker, Max Housden, Bradley Heffernan and Josie Talbot will also feature in the U19 events.
The 2013 Subaru Cycling Australia Track Cycling Championships will be held at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome from 30 January to 2 February, 2013.
SBS Television will broadcast the evening sessions on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 February LIVE SBS TWO.
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