St George Cycling clubs Kaarle McCulloch wound back the clock in Brisbane yesterday surging to a sixth time trial and thirteenth national title in a near personal-best time.
Just days after celebrating her thirtieth birthday, McCulloch laid down her third best ever time – only bettered by her two rides at the 2018 Oceania Championships last November – to win gold in the 500m time trial.
“I wanted that so badly,” said McCulloch, who won five national titles in the event between 2008 and 2013. “To be able to execute as well as what I did, and in the time that I did, I am really excited.
“I am so buggered right now, to go that fast, on this track especially, it really has given me a lot of confidence.”
In the final ride against Stephanie Morton (SA), Australia’s two leading riders staged a close battle across the two laps.
2010 Commonwealth silver medalist McCulloch held the advantage at all time checks, before stopping the clock in 34.064secs, also a new Australian Championship record time.
The Sydney cyclist recently made the permanent move to Adelaide to join Morton at the Australian Cycling Team headquarters. The pair are targeting selection to the team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in the individual events, in addition to forming the team sprint combination.
“I was really nervous going up against Steph, I get to train with her every day now and she is mashing me in training everyday,” remarked McCulloch, who won World Championship silver with Morton in 2017. “But I think it is really good for both of us.
“I am there chasing her, and she is being pushed by me.
“I feel as a team and as opponents, we will take it to the next level.”
Riding in her first time trial in four years since winning Commonwealth silver in Glasgow in 2014, Morton grabbed the silver in 34.281secs.
Defending champion Breanna Hargrave (SA) took the bronze in a time of 34.856secs.
In the under 19 women’s time trial, a personal best to Brooklyn Vonderwall (35.727) saw her win gold ahead of Victoria’s Alana Field (35.829) and South Australia’s Heather May (36.813).