SA cyclists set to fly at track nationals

28 Feb 2017

South Australia will field a powerful team when it lines up at the 2017 Cycling Australia Track National Championships in Brisbane from March 2 to 5.

Twenty four cyclists will fly the flag for SA at the new Anna Meares Velodrome, competing for 32 national titles. The velodrome will be the same venue where the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held.

SASI lead cycling coach Brett Aitken was hoping for another big return from the team next week.

"We will have a strong team again and the usual suspects like Matt Glaetzer and Steph Morton will be up there,'' he said.

"Overall we have a good, young group. Chloe (Moran) will be in her first year as a senior, while Brooklyn (Vonderwall) is new to the national titles. Sophie Edwards is another to watch as are Cooper Sayers and Braden O'Shea. Leigh Hoffman will be another to keep an eye on as he moves into under 19 ranks for the first time after being a national champion at a younger age.

"It is hard to predict numbers (medals) but we should be very competitive in most of the events. I will be looking forward to seeing the new velodrome as it should be really fast.''

Leigh's road to Adelaide has seen him relocate from Whyalla where he was coached by Kerran Oates and overseen by Whyalla Cycling Club head coach Keith Gibbons. Leigh, 16, then joined the state development squad where Loz Shaw held the coaching reins before Jason Niblett took over before leaving for Japan.

Rio Olympian Pat Constable also is on the SA team as are promising riders Danielle McKinnirey and Thomas Clarke. McKinnirey, 20, a two-time junior world champion, won the team pursuit world title in 2014 and the omnium in 2015.

She then moved to the elite class at the end of 2015, handling the extra pressure with ease. In the past 16 months she has won for elite national titles.

Clarke will look to build on his potential after competing at each of the four World Cups in 2016-17. Clarke is training hard for the final World Cup of the season in Los Angeles after an outstanding effort in Cali (Colombia) recently recording a new flying 200 metre personal best.

As with many of the other SA riders Clarke will be aiming for top results at the nationals with the aim of making the Commonwealth Games team in 2018.

In this week's under 19 nationals young gun Maeve Moroney Plouffe, who took out the omnium national title in December, will aim to defend her team pursuit title as well as doing well in individual races. Brooklyn Vonderwall won the Oceania championship in the keirin and sprint events and will be looking for her first national title.

James Brister should be a contender in the sprints with silver and keirin bronze at the Oceania Championships in December. Braden O'Shea, a gold medallist in the team pursuit at Oceania Championships, should be around the mark in the endurance events.

Jarrad Drizners will miss the nationals this week after suffering fractures to his left knee cap in a training accident.

Several of the SA riders will compete at the Oceania Road Championships in Canberra between March 9 and 11.

South Australia's team for Brisbane nationals

Elite Men

Tom Clarke (Kilkenny Cycling Club)

Pat Constable (Kilkenny Cycling Club)

Matt Glaetzer (Central Districts Cycling Club)

Joshua Harrison (Central Districts Cycling Club)

Alex Porter (Scotch College South Australia Cycling Club)

Ben Scholl (Port Adelaide Cycling Club)

Rohan Wight (Scotch College South Australia Cycling Club).

Elite Women

Rikki Belder (South Coast Cycling Club)

Breanna Hargrave (Skinny Lattes Cycling Club)

Alexandra Manly (Central Districts Cycling Club)

Danielle McKinnirey (Norwood Cycling Club)

Chloe Moran (Central Districts Cycling Club)

Steph Morton (South Coast Cycling Club)

Holly Takos (Port Adelaide Cycling Club)

Junior Women 19

Sophie Edwards (Norwood Cycling Club)

Maeve Moroney-Plouffe (Port Adelaide Cycling Club)

Hannah Osborne (Norwood Cycling Club)

Brooklyn Vonderwall (Scotch College South Australia Cycling Club)

Junior Men 19

James Brister (Port Adelaide Cycling Club)

Leigh Hoffman (Whyalla Cycling Club)

Colby Jachman (Riverland Cycling Club)

Braden O'Shea (Central Districts Cycling Club)

Cooper Sayers (Central Districts Cycling Club)

Luke Wight (Mount Gambier Cycling and Triathlon Club).

Follow SASI cycling on Twitter @SASI_Cycling

Follow all the action from the 2017 Track nationals here http://cycling.org.au/Events/Track-National-Championships/Elite

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