Ankudinoff, McCulloch and Cornish win gold at 2019 Australian Track Cycling Championships

Podium ready: St George cycling star Ashlee Ankudinoff wins the national points race title in Brisbane last week. Picture: Con Chronis/Cycling Australia
Podium ready: St George cycling star Ashlee Ankudinoff wins the national points race title in Brisbane last week. Picture: Con Chronis/Cycling Australia

The Australian cycling team has reset and resumed its build up towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a successful 2019 Australian track titles and track world championships.

With less than 500 days until the Olympics, St George cycling stars Ashlee Ankudinoff and Kaarle McCulloch have been categorised podium ready for membership to the Australian cycling team for the 2020 season.

Just a few weeks after her triple medal haul at the World Championships, McCulloch won a 13th career national title in Brisbane, her fifth time trial crown.

Time trial: Kaarle McCulloch won her 13th national title. Picture: Con Chronis/Cycling Australia

Time trial: Kaarle McCulloch won her 13th national title. Picture: Con Chronis/Cycling Australia

The last of 10 riders to take to the start line, McCulloch clocked 34.185 seconds, more than half a second ahead of Victoria's 2016 champion Caitlin Ward (34.727).

"I am a bit surprised with that ride. It shows my form hasn't dropped off too much since the World Championships but that hurt a lot more than the world titles, let me tell you," the 32-year-old said.

"You have to put yourself in a situation where it is challenging, where you are under pressure and you have to execute.

"And that's my goal this week. If you are prepared to lose, then you are prepared to win."

In a world-class points race, Menai's Ankudinoff outsprinted 2015 world champion and dual defending champion Amy Cure on the final lap to win the points race national title.

"That was very unexpected but I went out there with no expectations and to have fun. I just enjoyed myself and came away with the win," said Ankudinoff, who won dual world titles in the individual and team pursuit last month.

Ankudinoff, Cure, hometown favourite Kristina Clonan and individual pursuit champion Maeve Plouffe set the tempo early as they took a lap on the field after 20 laps of the 100-lap race.

The lead see-sawed during the race as riders took laps but the race was decided in a drag race to the line which saw Ankudinoff storm to the final sprint win and the gold.

"I knew it would be tough given last night's scratch race was bloody tough," said Ankudinoff, who went within metres of also stealing the scratch gold from Cure on the Friday evening.

"It was a world-class field, I took an early lap and just hoped that it paid off as I didn't know what I would have in the last 20 laps as that is when you can lose a bike race."

"But I kept my composure, put it all on the line in the final sprint and definitely finished with nothing left and couldn't be happier."

Elite: Sutherland's Thomas Cornish wins his maiden elite national title. Picture: Con Chronis/Cycling Australia

Elite: Sutherland's Thomas Cornish wins his maiden elite national title. Picture: Con Chronis/Cycling Australia

2018 junior world champion Thomas Cornish from the Sutherland club also claimed his maiden elite national title with victory in the one-kilometre time trial.

Cornish clocked 1min 1.653secs for the four laps to take the win ahead of Victorian Godfrey Slattery (1:03.004) and Tasmania's Josh Duffy (1:03.258).

"It feels great to win the elite jersey, coming off juniors and being the current junior world champion there was a bit of pressure behind me so it's always good to back up the expectation and have a win," Cornish said, a member of the Australian cycling team podium potential academy who is destined for bigger things.

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