World Cup Track Beijing 2010
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Megan Dunn the new superstar of Australian Cycling reflects on Beijing
Megan Dunn is in her first year of senior racing, but she is already a star. A multiple junior World Champion, Dunn went to Beijing with the Australian team to gain experience of racing at a senior level, no one expected her to walk away with the Gold.
Dunn reflected on her experiences for WCN.
"Beijing is very cold, not usually over 0 degrees however the track is very warm thank goodness. The flight over was fine we had a stop over in Kuala Lumpur. I didn't have jet lag too bad because it's only 3 hours different.
When we got here on the Tuesday my legs surprisingly felt good and we had a track session that afternoon. I was one of few people in the track team who liked the track. It is wider in the banks then most Aussie velodromes, so I found that good for bunch racing.
On Friday was the scratch race, I qualified but felt little lost in the race as it was my first senior international race. I finished 12th in the final, which I obviously was disappointed with as I got myself boxed in down on the blue."
"After talking with Kevin Tabotta, the women's coach for this World Cup, he told me to use everything I learnt from the scratch race towards the points race tomorrow night. The biggest thing I found about senior track racing was that I needed to begin to position myself with at least 7 laps to go rather than 3 to 4 laps to go in junior racing."
"I felt more at home in the points race and in qualifying, we tried a bigger gear than what I would normally use in a points race, which I had full confidence I could handle after the scratch race. In the qualifying, I gave the legs a good run and qualified easy through to the final. The gear was really good and comfortable however the issue for the final was that it was an extra forty laps than the qualifying. I went with the same gear in the end."
"The race started out really well. I don't usually try for the first sprint, as you can jeopardise your race as everyone goes for it and it can get sketchy. I found myself in a good position coming into the first sprint so I took second points. I continued to build points. I made a couple little mistakes but defintely learnt. Coming into the last sprint I was second to the Russian by one point. I picked up one point in last sprint and the Russian was relagated for collusion and I won on a count back." Collusion is an issue in the World Cups, the Russians were not the only team to be warned. The Italian team was also warned, not for the first time in this years series.
"It was great to have a win after a disappointing scratch race, however I realise I'm not yet at the level I need to be to be winning on a senior ranks. I feel the only way to be there is more international senior racing. Beijing world cup was fantastic experience and it is great to be flying home with a gold in the bag but I feel the experience and lessons I learnt were more valuable," said Dunn.
Kevin Tabotta (Cycling Australia National Technical Manager) explained about the wait for the result, "Initially on points the Russian won but she was disqualified in the final sprint when officials judged she had colluded with a team mate," said Tabotta. "First Megan was told she had won and then that she hadn't and then finally they she had. It took an hour for that to be decided but as we told her whether she won or not she had put in a fantastic ride and should be proud of herself," he said. "In the scratch race the day before she was just finding her way in her first major international senior competition but she learned a heap in that first race and in the points race came back to her natural style. She was really aggressive, rode good position and had real power in the sprints," Tabotta said. "She put up a real fight and demonstrated all the qualities you need for success at the international level in the points race."
Dunn, was not the only success in Beijing for the Australian, the Team Pursuit team which which she was reserve had a great result.
The women's pursuit line up of Ashlee Ankudinoff, Sarah Kent and Josie Tomic was half a second slower than New Zealand in the qualifying round but in the final posted a cracking first kilometre to establish a lead that their Kiwi rivals couldn't match. Their winning time of 3min22.879sec set a new Australian record. The victory also gave Australia the World Cup Series crown for the women's team pursuit.
Dunn watched as the action unfolded in the pursuit. "The last day was one of the best, the team pursuit girls approached the qualifying all looking good. They qualified second just behind the kiwis. They were happy with their 2.26 which was a personal best. A couple hours later for the final they were the under dogs with the plan to schedule their first kilo the same as the qualifying then just call them off the kiwis. Within the first couple laps the Aussies were in front with everyone praying that they hadn't gone out to hard and they could hold on to it. With each lap they extended their lead and soon they had a well established gap with only something like a fall that could take away the gold from them. The kiwi girls in the remaining two laps lost a rider and their team pursuit fell apart. Our girls crossed the line to an outstanding time of 3.22 and the cheer of all the Aussies. The girls were extactic and were straight onto the phone to Gary Sutton, who was like a proud father. The girls quote is 'watch out pommies'."
Gary Sutton was in Adelaide and caught up with WCN. "I am so happy, they rode incredibly well," said Sutton.
Thank you to Megan for sharing her experience.
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