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Dunn Gold again at Junior World Championships

Australian Junior Track Women's cycling team continue well in Moscow

The 'Dubbo Dynamo', Megan Dunn, claimed her third gold medal of the week at the Junior World Championships in Moscow where Australia finished on top of the medal table for the third consecutive year.

The young Australian team collected ten medals (seven gold, two silver and one bronze) with New Zealand impressive in second place with three gold medals. The host nation, Russia, was third on the table also with ten medals but made up of two gold, five silver and three bronze.

The win by the 17 year old in the points race brings to six her career total of U19 World Championship gold medals adding to the three (points race, scratch race, team pursuit) she won in 2008 and the two she had already claimed in Russia.

She was a member of the victorious team pursuit that set a 3km U19 world record for women on Thursday and on Friday demolished her opposition to win the omnium by a huge margin.

Her points race performance overnight was so dominant the teenager scored more points than the silver and bronze medallist combined.

Dunn won four of the ten sprints contested in the 20km (60 lap) race, placed third in three other sprints and was second in the final sprint to finish on 29 points. Italian Elena Cecchini was second on 13 points with Japan's Minami Uwano claiming bronze on 12 points.

"I like to establish a lead to so that I have a buffer in case anything happens like an error or a crash," said Dunn. "I honestly thought there was going to be a crash because there was a lot of attacking and the pace was on from the start.
It was really impressive because it shows girls racing is going in a good direction but it meant there was a lot of chasing on my behalf," she said. "It feels really good to have defended two of my crowns and to get an extra one and I suppose it hasn't really sunk in yet but it's fantastic."

Dunn is now looking forward to returning home to Dubbo and her family and supporters.

"My priority now is completing my HSC at Dubbo College senior campus which has provided me with so much support as has the rest of Dubbo," she said. "They're proud of me and they have supported me and you can't ask for more than that - it's a great town."

Also on the final day of racing South Australia's Annette Edmondson claimed a bronze medal in the women's keirin while Michael Hepburn missed completing a full set of medals when he finished fourth in the omnium.

Cycling Australia National Technical Manager, Kevin Tabotta, says he is extremely proud of the team and their performance in Moscow.

"We came into this Championships knowing we had a really strong team based on the times we'd seen at Nationals and at the lead up camps," said Tabotta. "The work being done at State Institute level has really been the strength of the Australian cycling system and has allowed the kids to come together for five or six weeks already highly prepared and highly skilled.

"A culture of performance has been built up in the junior program over the past ten years with a core group of staff and management so these athletes came here expecting to do well because of the history the team has at this level," explained Tabotta. "They came with a professional attitude and to do their best and I think Cycling Australia is right on the money in terms of the way we deal with the junior development process.

"It's a solid building block and future champions and we have transition programs in place to nurture them and develop them through to elite level competition."

"Megan Dunn is one of the best young female cyclists I've ever seen and a number of coaches will say the same thing," said Tabotta. "She dominated the points race today and went for sprints even when she was physically exhausted and could have let a few go by.From early in the race it was obvious everyone else was racing for silver," he said. "She is definitely not short on talent and now we need to look after her progression to the next level so she can become a successful senior athlete."

The U19 women's track endurance group so dominated the events in Moscow that they won every gold medal contested and in the individual pursuit, where two riders were able to start, collected gold and silver.

But Tabotta also urged caution about getting over excited by the results of the week.

"I think the test will really be how we take these youngsters to the next level," he said. "There is a big step up from U19 to elite but some of these teenagers definitely have the talent to take that step and it's Cycling Australia's aim to help them do it."

 

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