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2009 Australian Senior Track Championships - CN

Super-Drome, Adelaide, Australia, February 3-8, 2009

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Day 1 - February 3: Men: Individual pursuit, Sprint qualifying; Women: Individual pursuit, Team sprint

Queensland teenager claims World Record at Australian Championships

Michael Hepburn shows the effort
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

17-year-old Brisbane cyclist, Michael Hepburn, re-wrote the books with a World Record time in the qualifying round of the 3 kilometre U19 men's individual pursuit at Adelaide's Superdrome on day one of the Australian Track Cycling Championships.

Hepburn stopped the clock in 3:16.385 to clip two tenths of a second off the previous record of 3:16.589 set by American Taylor Phinney last June in Los Angeles to claim not only the World Record mantle but the Australian, Australian All Comers and Australian Championship records.

"I knew the form was right, I knew I would go quick, but I didn't think I would go that quick, I thought I would go around the 3:18 mark," said Hepburn whose coach had him on a schedule for a 3:18 ride. "The last kilometre I had a bit left in the tank and I lifted there above the schedule, so I am pretty happy with that.

In the qualifying ride Hepburn was on the track at the same time as South Australian Dale Parker who had been touted as the rider to watch having come agonisingly close to the World Record time at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival last month. But Parker's 3:19.544 was the fourth fastest time in the round and puts him in the ride off for bronze against Tasmanian Peter Loft who rode 3:19.374. Hepburn admits lining up against Parker was a little daunting.

"I did feel the pressure because there were many guys saying how fast he is and how fast he was going to go today but I knew I would be able to give it a good run," said Hepburn.

Hepburn switched from triathlon to cycling three years ago and last year represented Australia on the road at the Junior World Championships. He rides on the road with the Fly V-Australia team but in this his second season on the track he has set his sights on representing Australia in the individual pursuit on the track at the Junior World Championships in Moscow in August.

"It was a great experience last year on the road (World Championships) but I am hoping to go for the track this year for something different," said Hepburn who is coached by Nick Formosa and holds a scholarship with the Queensland Academy of Sport.

Last month at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival he rode 3:20.799 to qualify third fastest but in his bronze medal showdown with West Australian Luke Durbridge was four seconds slower and missed a medal. He'll again face Durbridge in tonight's final but this time as World Record holder. Durbridge qualified for the gold medal ride with his time of 3:19.184sec, also a personal best time.

Earlier in the session South Australian 'wunderkind' Jack Bobridge rode 4:18.663sec to qualify fastest for the final of the 4km elite men's individual pursuit breaking the Australian Championship record set by Brad McGee on the same track in 1997. He will face West Australian Cameron Meyer (4:20.430) in the race for gold tonight while Travis Meyer (4:24.354) lines up against Leigh Howard (VIC) (4:25.970) to decide the bronze medal.

Bobridge says he would like to add the All Comers record to his list tonight which means he needs to better the 4:18.515 ridden by Germany's Robert Bartko to win gold at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

The women's 3km individual pursuit will be an all West Australian affair with former Junior World Champion, Josephine Tomic, (3:39.443) up against Sarah Kent (3:40.278). The bronze medal ride off will feature Victorians Tess Downing (3:41.138) and Helen Kelly (3:43.454).

In the Under 19 women's event Tasmania's Amy Cure posted the fastest qualifying time (2:26.756) and will battle it out against Michaela Anderson (WA) (2:27.018) in the final.

Bobridge bags another gold

Another championships, another win
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

South Australian Jack Bobridge has claimed his third Australian Title of the year with his victory tonight in the elite men's 4km individual pursuit. The 19-year-old adds the track crown to the road race and road time trial titles he won in Ballarat last month.

Bobridge posted a time of 4:20.294sec to defeat 21-year-old West Australian Cameron Meyer (4:22.397) by just under two seconds. Bobridge took an early lead on around half a second but lifted his pace in the final two laps to surge clear for the win.

"Out of the whole week, this is the one I wanted," said Bobridge. "I have been aiming for this for the past few months so to come out and win it is fantastic.

"I'm still a little bit tired from the Tour Down Under but mentally I was great," said Bobridge who has been improving at every start since his making his Olympic Games debut in Beijing where he finished fourth in the team pursuit and in qualifying earlier today broke the Australian Championship record set by Brad McGee in 1997. "I put my gear up a bit this afternoon thinking the weather would make it quicker but I noticed before my race that everyone was going slower so I had a few nerves there, but it came out all right the end."

Meantime Meyer was happy with his medal but had hoped to be a little faster in the final.

"I think Jack was the same as we both bumped our gears up, but the heat paid a toll," said Meyer. "It was hard to keep hydrated today and tonight I just didn't have that little bit of extra energy.

"I didn't put much pressure on myself because it's my first individual pursuit in two years and I knew that Jack is one of the best in the world at the moment so I just wanted to have a crack and just see what I could do and I think I did that," said Meyer who was the Junior Individual Pursuit World Champion in 2006 and this year has begun his first year in the pro road ranks with the Garmin-Chipotle ProTour team. "I haven't been able to much IP work lately due to road nationals and the Tour Down Under so maybe I could have gone faster, but I also think that the road gave me the form for this event."

The bronze medal ride was between two 19-year-olds with Victorian Leigh Howard, the fourth seed, reversing the qualifying results to finish in 4:24.841, eight tenths of a second faster than third seed West Australian Travis Meyer who stopped the clock in 4:25.684.

In the men's U19 pursuit 17-year-old Brisbane cyclist, Michael Hepburn, who in qualifying set a World Record, backed up to secure the gold medal over West Australian Luke Durbridge. Hepburn's time of 3:18.726 was well outside the time of 3:16.382 he rode earlier in the day but was fast enough to win the gold.

"It was really hard to calm myself down after this morning and all the hype after talking with my friends and family," said Hepburn.

At the Australian Youth Olympic Festival last month Durbridge beat Hepburn in the bronze medal ride but tonight the Queenslander paced himself well to finish eight tenths of a second quicker than his rival. The bronze medal was won by Tasmanian Peter Loft in 3:19.704sec who defeated local rider Dale Parker (3:21.49).

"Hats off to Luke, he gave me a good scare, but I managed to get over him in the last few laps," said Hepburn. "The World Record is special but I came here for the Australian Championship and I got that so the record is a bonus."

Durbridge admits Hepburn was just too strong today.

"I know that the way Hepburn rides is that he rides fast in the first and last of the race and I thought that I could ride fast enough early that I maybe could get over the line, but it just wasn't enough," said Durbridge. "But I set two personal bests today so I am very happy with that."

Queensland women dominate team sprint

Kerrie Meares and Emily Rosemond
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

Queensland continued their unbroken dominance of the women's team sprint with Kerrie Meares and Emily Rosemond winning their second straight crown in a time of 34.764 to defeat their State team mates Anna Meares and junior rider Rebecca Stevenson who finished in 36.174. WA pair Teegan Morton and Holly Williams were awarded the bronze medal.

"Queensland has the legacy of the womens team sprint in Australia and we are very happy with the time, as we set a new Australian best time," said Kerrie Meares who previously held the record with her sister Anna. "I don't see her as Anna Meares I see her as my sister and she wasn't very happy that we broke the time but it's all in good fun."

For the younger Meares this week marks her return to racing after a well deserved rest in the wake of her fighting back from a broken neck to claim the silver medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

"It hurt a little in the first one, more than I remember (but) it was fun and I really enjoyed it," said Anna Meares. "It was nice to kick off the season with a team event.

"I was a little nervous at first, first race back, but I was excited more than anything."

The fact the 'best time' mark was beaten without her has only spurred her on.

"Damn is the word that comes to mind," laughed Anna. "It was only two hundredths of a second but hats off to them, Kerrie and Emily, they have been working really hard for this and for me it is more incentive to try and work my way back to the 'A' team and break it next time."

Meares admits she's unsure how she will go in the time trial, sprint and keirin after having only four weeks real preparation.

"It will be very interesting and fatigue will be a big factor by the time I get to the end," she explained. "It will be a case of managing that and not trying to get worked up over trying to win everything and go in with what I have got."

The women's 3km individual pursuit final was an all West Australian affair with former 2007 Junior World Champion, Josephine Tomic, (3:40.059) proving too strong for first year senior and 2008 Junior World Championship silver medallist, Sarah Kent (3:41.937). The bronze medal ride off was won by Victorian Tess Downing (3:43.628) and Helen Kelly (3:47.101).

"Definitely a great way to start the week," said Tomic. "I came in here as the favourite so to back up and win I am very happy with that.

"I definitely feel the pressure and I went to Beijing (Track World Cup) a few of weeks ago and had a disappointing race so I needed a good ride today to bring my confidence up."

"I'm pretty stoked actually as I came out of road nationals pretty tired and just happened to get the track legs back," said Kent who is Tomic's training partner. "Josie is an unbeatable force and I look up to her as a role model and a competitor and I think we have a very healthy rivalry and friendship.

"To come second to her, I am pretty happy," said Kent.

Tasmania's Amy Cure (2:28.074) won the U19 women's 2km individual pursuit crown ahead of WA's Michaela Anderson (2:28.502) with Melissa Hoskins (WA) (2:29.170) defeating Shannon McCurley (VIC) (2:33.065) for the bronze medal.

"It is a great feeling as I have always wanted to win this," said Cure. "I just gave it all and I came out with the gold so I was pumped with that."

In the elite men's sprint Victorian Shane Perkins was clearly the in-form rider posting a time of 10.175sec for the flying 200m qualifying to secure the top seed.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by John Veage


Men 4000m Individual Pursuit Qualification
1 Jack Bobridge (SA)                            4.18.66 (55.67 km/h)
2 Cameron Meyer (WA)                            4.20.43
3 Travis Meyer (WA)                             4.24.35
4 Leigh Howard (VIC)                            4.25.97
5 Glenn O'Shea (VIC)                            4.26.53
6 Michael Freiberg (WA)                         4.27.24
7 James Langedyk (VIC)                          4.27.60
8 Rohan Dennis (SA)                             4.31.96
9 Thomas Palmer (ACT)                           4.32.96
10 Kyle Marwood (VIC)                           4.33.12
11 Sean Boyle (SA)                              4.39.71
12 Dale Scarfe (NSW)                            4.41.42
13 Benjamin Harvey (NSW)                        4.43.84
Women 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification
1 Josephine Tomic (WA)                          3.39.44 (49.22 km/h)
2 Sarah Kent (WA)                               3.40.28
3 Tess Downing (VIC)                            3.41.14
4 Helen Kelly (VIC)                             3.43.45
5 Sophie Ootes (SA)                             3.43.95
6 Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW)                       3.44.17
7 Nikki Butterfield (QLD)                       3.44.81
8 Amber Halliday (SA)                           3.45.92
9 Jessie Maclean (ACT)                          3.48.62
10 Chloe Mcconville (VIC)                       3.52.69
11 Rebecca Halliday (WA)                        3.54.57
12 Rebecca Barwick (ACT)                        3.57.62
M19 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification
1 Michael Hepburn (QLD)                         3.16.385 ** New World Record (54.99 km/h)
2 Luke Durbridge (WA)                           3.19.18
3 Peter Loft (TAS)                              3.19.37
4 Dale Parker (SA)                              3.19.54
5 Thomas Richards (QLD)                         3.24.14
6 Jordan Kerby (QLD)                            3.24.91
7 Aaron Donnelly (NSW)                          3.25.88
8 Mitchell Mulhern (QLD)                        3.26.40
9 Alex Carver (NSW)                             3.26.94
10 Brent Nelson (VIC)                           3.27.38
11 Jonathan Dunlop (WA)                         3.28.67
12 Luke Ockerby (TAS)                           3.29.04
13 Oliver Le Grice (VIC)                        3.29.74
14 Scott Mcphee (SA)                            3.29.78
15 Jordan Van Der Togt (WA)                     3.29.94
16 Gavin Sittampalam (VIC)                      3.30.13
17 Samuel Brett (TAS)                           3.30.17
18 Matthew Benson (SA)                          3.31.67
19 Damien Howson (SA)                           3.32.33
20 Edward Bissaker (ACT)                        3.32.82
21 Samuel Spokes (NSW)                          3.35.13
22 Fergus Maclachlan (VIC)                      3.37.68
W19 2000m Individual Pursuit Qualification
1 Amy Cure (TAS)                                2.26.76 (49.06 km/h)
2 Michaela Anderson (WA)                        2.27.02
3 Melissa Hoskins (WA)                          2.27.78
4 Shannon Mccurley (VIC)                        2.30.76
5 Isabella King (WA)                            2.31.10
6 Carly Mccoombe (VIC)                          2.34.68
7 Kendelle Hodges (VIC)                         2.35.12
8 Chloe Geyer (NSW)                             2.40.75
9 Hayley Grant (QLD)                            2.47.35

Men 200m Sprint Qualification
1 Shane Perkins (VIC)                           0.10.18 (70.76 km/h)
2 Jason Niblett (VIC)                           0.10.44
3 Scott Sunderland (WA)                         0.10.46
4 Ben Sanders (VIC)                             0.10.63
5 Alex Bird (ACT)                               0.10.65
6 Daniel Ellis (ACT)                            0.10.73
7 Byron Davis (QLD)                             0.10.81
8 Peter Lewis (NSW)                             0.10.84
9 Andrew Taylor (NSW)                           0.10.88
10 Paul Fellows (NSW)                           0.10.94
11 Jay Callaghan (QLD)                          0.11.31
12 David Miller (SA)                            0.11.42
13 Michael Robinson (QLD)                       0.11.55
14 Michael Wellman (SA)                         0.11.58
15 Benjamin Cheney (SA)                         0.11.63
16 Joshua Clarke (WA)                           0.11.96
W19 2000m Individual Pursuit Final
Gold & Silver Medals
1 Amy Cure (TAS)                                2.28.07 (48.62 km/h)
2 Michaela Anderson (WA)                        2.28.50
Bronze Medal
3 Melissa Hoskins (WA)                          2.29.17
4 Shannon Mccurley (VIC)                        2.33.07
Women 3000m Individual Pursuit Final
Gold & Silver Medals
1 Josephine Tomic (WA)                          3.40.06 (49.08 km/h)
2 Sarah Kent (WA)                               3.41.94
Bronze Medal
3 Tess Downing (VIC)                            3.43.63
4 Helen Kelly (VIC)                             3.47.10
M19 3000m Individual Pursuit Final
Gold & Silver Medals
1 Michael Hepburn (QLD)                         3.18.73 (54.35 km/h)
2 Luke Durbridge (WA)                           3.19.45
Bronze Medal
3 Peter Loft (TAS)                              3.19.70
4 Dale Parker (SA)                              3.21.49
Men 4000m Individual Pursuit Final
Gold & Silver Medals
1 Jack Bobridge (SA)                            4.20.29 (55.32 km/h)
2 Cameron Meyer (WA)                            4.22.40
Bronze Medal
3 Leigh Howard (VIC)                            4.24.84
4 Travis Meyer (WA)                             4.25.68
Open Women  Team Sprint Qualification

1 Kerrie Meares (QLD)                           0.34.76 (51.78 km/h)
 Emily Rosemond (QLD)                                  
2 Rebecca Stevenson  (QLD)                      0.36.17
 Anna Meares (QLD)                                     
3 Teegan Morton  (WA)                           0.36.77
 Holly Williams  (WA)                                  
4 Naomi Pinto  (VIC)                            0.37.22
 Jessica Laws (VIC)                                    
5 Catherine Culvenor  (ACT)                     0.37.73
 Caitlin Todd  (ACT)                                   
6 Sarah Cure  (TAS)                             0.38.12
 Harriet Kossmann  (TAS)                               
7 Holly Mcclellan (WA)                          0.39.13
 Samantha Wood  (WA)                                   
DSQ Annette Edmondson  (SA)                            
 Stephanie Morton (SA)                                 
Men  Sprint Round 1
Heat 1
1 Shane Perkins (VIC)                           0.11.58
2 Joshua Clarke (WA)                                   
Heat 2
1 Jason Niblett (VIC)                           0.12.07
2 Benjamin Cheney (SA)                                 
Heat 3
1 Scott Sunderland (WA)                         0.12.03
2 Michael Wellman (SA)                                 
Heat 4
1 Ben Sanders (VIC)                             0.11.97
2 Michael Robinson (QLD)                               
Heat 5
1 Alex Bird (ACT)                               0.12.14
2 David Miller (SA)                                    
Heat 6
1 Daniel Ellis (ACT)                            0.11.40
2 Jay Callaghan (QLD)                                  
Heat 7
1 Paul Fellows (NSW)                            0.11.24
2 Byron Davis (QLD)                                    
Heat 8
1 Andrew Taylor (NSW)                           0.11.62
2 Peter Lewis (NSW)                                    
Open Women Team Sprint Final
Gold & Silver Medals
1 Kerrie Meares (QLD)                                  
 Emily Rosemond (QLD)                           0.34.78
2 Rebecca Stevenson  (QLD)                             
 Anna Meares (QLD)                              0.36.07
Bronze Medal
3 Teegan Morton  (WA)                                  
 Holly Williams  (WA)                                  
DNS Naomi Pinto  (VIC)                                 
 Jessica Laws (VIC)                                    

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