Defending champs and junior stars headline 2024 Australian Track Cycling Championships


By Josh Squire


Australia’s best cyclists put on a show at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane, but it was some young stars that shone brightest across the five-day event.

Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games triple gold medallists Tayte Ryan (four golds) and Lauren Bates (five golds and one silver) walked out with more hardware than any other athletes, proving that the next generation of cycling in Australia is in good hands.

18-year-old Ryan was impressive across all four of his events, taking out the gold medal across the junior men’s sprint, keirin, team sprint, and 1000m time trial.

Ryan, the recipient of Commonwealth Games Australia Emerging Athlete of the Month award in September last year, continues to show impressive signs following his victory in the 1000m time trial at the World Junior Championships last year.

Fellow Trinbago 2023 athlete Bates was in scintillating form across the five days of competition, recording an impressive win in the junior women’s points race while enduring severe cramps.

“I was just holding on for dear life,” Bates said.

“I was contemplating pulling out at one point. I’m really stoked, I’m having so much fun on the track at the moment.”



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On the elite side of the competition, several defending champions triumphed over strongly competitive fields.

Dual-gold medallist at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Matthew Richardson retained his sprint and keirin titles from 2023, holding off fellow gold medallsits Matthew Glaetzer in the keirin, and Leigh Hoffman in the sprint.

The trio took gold in the team sprint in Birmingham two years ago, and Richardson credited his teammates for creating great competition in Australian cycling.

“We push each other to be the best that we possibly can, and they’ve taken rides off me in the past, so I definitely don’t take them for granted either and don’t underestimate them for sure and treat them with respect,” he said.

Birmingham 2022 bronze medallist Conor Leahy maintained his stronghold on the men’s individual pursuit title, pushing his winning streak to five years at the national championships.

The 24-year-old also took out the points race before joining his Western Australian teammates to take out a tense final in the team pursuit.

In the women’s events, Birmingham 2022 team member Alessia McCaig continued her rise through the Australian track cycling ranks, taking home three golds, one of which included an impressive upset of Birmingham 2022 gold medallist Kristina Clonan in the keirin.

Defending her keirin title from last year, McCaig faced a new challenge, with Clonan returning to the event after missing it in 2023.

But not even the three-time national champion in the event could stop McCaig from going back-to-back, and no one could prevent her from snaring a sprint trifecta, taking out the 500m time trial and individual sprint events as well.

Birmingham 2022 gold medallist Chloe Moran did just enough in the women’s points race to claim victory and her fourth consecutive national title.

The 25-year-old South Australian nabbed two points in the final sprint to sneak past Czech athlete Petra Sevcikova and Ireland’s Lara Gillespie to win the race by a point.



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