Australian National Track Championships
Dunc Gray Velodrome, Sydney - Team Pursuit & Under 19 Scratch Race
In the inaugural running of the 3km open teams pursuit for women, an event to be added to the World Championships in 2008, Sydney's Amanda Spratt, 19, spearheaded the NSW trio to a gold medal. Spratt, who was the silver medallist in the individual pursuit earlier in the week, lined up with Friday's scratch race winner, Skye-Lee Armstrong and Toireasa Gallagher, against West Australian U19 trio Sarah Kent, Camille Pallett and Josephine Tomic in a tightly fought gold medal final.
Gallagher has this week ridden both as an individual and as the pilot with AWD (Athletes with a Disability) rider Lindy Hou with whom she holds two AWD World Championships and scored the Australian pursuit title on Thursday. Not surprisingly her heavy race program has taken its toll forcing her out with a kilometre to remaining. Spratt and Armstrong were left to finish the job and Spratt responded by hitting the front to put in a four lap effort and bring NSW home in a time of 3min39.080sec. WA was three tenths of a second slower in 3min39.340sec.
"I was the strongest individual pursuiter there and had a good pursuit a couple of days ago so it was up to me to pull a few of the big turns," said Spratt. "The other girls did the scratch race yesterday and I was a bit fresher so I'm happy I was able to pull off the big turns for the girls.
"It was s bit of an unknown really being a new event and it was an exciting prospect," said Spratt of lining up in a teams pursuit for the first time in competition. "We knew we had a good shot but WA has three juniors with world class times in the individual pursuit so it's great to come in and pull it off."
Spratt will now turn her attention to the road starting with the Geelong Tour and World Cup later this month and a race in New Zealand in March before she flies to Italy with the AIS women's road team for the European road season.
"I'm also starting a degree in psychology and business studies by correspondence," said Spratt. "There's no rest for the wicked and it's a busy year ahead but I'm looking forward to it."
Victoria added a third gold to their day six tally in the U19 women's 7.5km scratch race won by Lisa Friend. Tomic, backing up from two rounds of the teams pursuit earlier, put in a super effort to claim silver and Canberra cyclist Chloe Hosking clinched the bronze medal.
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