Kurt Eather has bounced back from illness to win silver in the Elite Men Points Race at the Track National Championships in Brisbane.
On the last day of competition, Eather returned to the track with a negative COVID test in hand after withdrawing from racing earlier this week.
As with all the Elite Men’s bunch event this week, the Points Race was fast and frenetic, with the hot pace shelling riders constantly over the 160 laps.
Although Victoria’s Jensen Plowright had the race sewn up with a number of sprint wins, the fight for the other medals came down to a tight finish between Ryan Schilt (Netherlands), Patrick Eddy (Victoria) and Eather.
Led out by Rohan Haydon-Smith, Eather took second place in the last sprint behind Plowright, putting him on equal points with Schilt and Eddy but in the silver medal position due to his higher-place finish.
“I thought I was gone with 90 laps to go,” Eather said afterwards. “I honestly don’t know how I did that.”
“I thought I was sprinting for third place at the end, but Ryan Schilt came over and said, 'well done on second,'” Eather said.
Earlier in the day, Kurt Eather’s younger brother Dylan qualified for the bronze medal final in the U19 Individual Pursuit, but finished fourth after being beaten by Canberra’s Cameron Rogers.
Tom Cornish made the Elite Men’s Keirin final but could not match the acceleration of the two Malaysian competitors Muhummas Shar and Mohd Azizulhasni, finishing sixth.
Georgia Whitehouse, NSW’s sole representative in the Elite Women Scratch Race, finished 7th in the sprint finish.
Haylee Fuller was the highest-placed NSW rider in the U19 Women Points Race, placing 7th behind winner Alyssa Polites from Victoria.
NSW finished with 22 medals across the competition, made up of seven gold, seven silver and eight bronze.
Words and photos by Ryan Miu