O’Brien crowned World Champion
Sunday, 16 April 2017
Australia charged to a sixth team pursuit world crown in eight years with an emphatic win over trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in the final at the 2017 Track Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong.
In Thursday’s opening qualifying round, VIS debutant Kelland O’Brien with Cameron Meyer (WA), Sam Welsford (WA) and Alex Porter (SA) soared to the third fastest time in history (3.50.577) just .312 outside of Great Britain’s world record set at Rio 2016 Games. Their ride was on target to be the first sub-3-50 mark, however with the team catching their opponent with two laps to go, time was lost as they passed the British team.
On the start line in the gold medal ride for Australia was 2010 world champion Meyer and defending champions Welsford and Porter teaming with debutant NickYallouris(NSW). It was a workman like start by the quartet which built a handy one-second lead over the first two kilometres, before New Zealand rallied to take a narrow two-tenths of a second lead with one kilometre remaining.
However, the Australians (3:53.979) surged over the final four laps to win by two and a half seconds (NZL 3:51.503).
On the final night of competition, teenage sensation O’Brien rounded out the medals in the men’s individual pursuit, adding a bronze to his medal haul.
Photo: Cycling Australia