Kaarle McCulloch scored her first individual sprint medal at World Cup level when she won bronze in the women’s event at the penultimate round of the UCI Tissot Track World Cup season in New Zealand at the weekend.
On the eve of her 31st birthday, St George Cycling Club’s McCulloch surged to a personal best time of 10.677 seconds in sprint qualifying, second fastest and just three-hundredths of a second behind Hong Kong’s Wai Sze Lee.
McCulloch defeated Ukraine’s Liubov Basova and the USA’s Madalyn Godby to move to the semi-finals where her run was ended by Ukrainian Olena Starikova.
In the bronze medal final, McCulloch came back from 1-0 down against hometown hero Natasha Hansen to win the bronze.
“[I’m] very, very happy to win my first ever individual sprint medal at a World Cup,” said McCulloch who celebrated her birthday with fifth in the keirin.
“I was thrilled when I got into the semis, a little disappointed how I rode it, but happy with how I bounced back in the bronze ride off to beat Natasha on her home turf.”
A host of Australian Cycling Team podium potential academy riders also got their first taste of international cycling when they made their World Cup debut but it was gold medals to sprinter Nathan Hart and Annette Edmondson in the Omnium that headlined the Australian team’s campaign.