The Australian track champion has had a breakthrough victory at the Nations Cup in Canada.
Kristina Clonan has led a medal rush for the Australian Cycling Team on Day 3 of the 2022 UCI Track Nations Cup in Milton, winning a breakthrough gold medal in the women’s 500m time trial.
Last out of the gate in the final after qualifying first, Clonan would jet around the Mattamy National Cycling Centre 0.473 seconds faster than her nearest rival, finishing with a blistering time of 32.987.
Clonan has now broken the hallowed 33-second barrier in the 500m time trial on three occasions this year, recording times that are theoretically world championship-winning standard.
“It definitely means a lot to me here – this is my first (Track) Nations Cup medal … it means a lot, and lots now to go home and work on and a little bit of motivation as well for sure,” Clonan said.
“Back home we’ve been training really hard, so I’ve got a good support crew and then to be able to come out and execute that is I think just due to the foundations we’ve built back in Australia and all the people back at home.
“It was hard for both laps, but the execution is so important and I had a plan with my coach, so we just came in and applied that which is nice to do successfully twice.”
An in-form Matthew Richardson added a fourth Nations Cup medal to his tally in the men’s keirin, winning silver after the relegation of Great Britain’s Jack Carlin.
The West Australian continues to prove he is becoming a genuine medal threat in any sprint event he contests, with his self-belief sky-high and speed at full tilt.
“I’m super stoked to come away with silver today, I’m really gaining lots of confidence in how to execute keirins at the top level of the sport,” Richardson said.
“I kept drawing the back position at the start of the races which isn’t good for me, so I was making the early move to the front to get myself in the race.
“I feel as though I have decent legs at the moment so I’m looking forward to the sprint tomorrow and I’ll try and put down a good time in the flying 200 and then learn as much as possible in the rounds.”
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Tokyo Olympian Alexandra Manly looked nothing like a woman who had not raced in a velodrome for seven months during the women’s omnium, animating the race at every opportunity to eventually finish with a bronze medal.
Manly finished with 104 points at the end of the four-race omnium, clawing back points throughout the evening after an initial 10th place finish in the opening scratch race.
The 26-year-old was only bested by reigning road race world champion Elisa Balsamo (Italy) and Tokyo 2020 omnium gold medallist Jennifer Valente (United States).
“I’m really happy with how I went,” Manly said.
“I was unsure what my track legs would be like with a completely different preparation than what I’ve done before.
“I just wanted to take each race as it came and race off instinct.
“It’s nice to be back on a podium at this level of racing.
“Watching my teammates’ success, especially Kristina’s 500m TT win, was really motivating.”
James Moriarty made his elite-level Australian Cycling Team debut all the more memorable in the men’s individual pursuit, winning the bronze medal final against New Zealand’s Jordan Kerby.
Moriarty was in control of the Brisbane duel after the first kilometre and stopped the clock at 4:14.177 to Kerby’s 4:17.631.
“I’m very grateful to have been given the chance to ride the individual pursuit for Australia and super proud to have won a medal,” Moriarty said.
“The standard is constantly improving, so it’s definitely a step in the right direction and a validating sign of the work we’re putting in back home.
“It was pretty surreal riding against Kerbs because he’s been a true inspiration and mentor to me since he returned to the track when I started coming into the elite ranks.
“I’ve never raced him in a pursuit though, so it was a special moment to qualify against him and eventually ride again in the final.
“It was cool to put a spotlight on the Queensland community but also solidify a big week and a stepping stone moving forward.”
Moriarty’s terrific day was improved by recording a one second personal best in qualifying of 4:13.932.
“I haven’t had the pleasure of lining up for an IP knowing exactly what I can do for a while,” Moriarty said.
“(My qualifying ride) was four seconds quicker than I rode post-COVID at the recent nationals in March.”
In other results, Matthew Glaetzer’s first overseas racing since the Tokyo Olympics ended with a fifth in the men’s keirin, and the men’s Madison pairing of Lucas Plapp and Conor Leahy finished seventh.
With thanks AusCycling.