Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Nettie Edmondson won her first ever rainbow jersey at the 2015 Uci World Track Cycling Championships, at the Velodrome National, in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines on the outskirts of Paris. The 22-year-old Adelaidean was part of the Australian Team Pursuit quartet, along with Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure and Melissa Hoskins, that beat the Great Britain team of Katie Archibald, and former Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling riders Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott.
“Unbelievable!” Edmondson said to Cycling Australia afterwards. “We've worked so hard for this. I've just spent every night of the last year dreaming about this so to actually go across the line and do it is… speechless.
In beating the British - who had held the title since 2011 - the Australian team also set a new World Record of four minutes 13.683 seconds for the four kilometre distance, smashing the previous best of four minutes 16.552 seconds, set by Great Britain in the Altitude of Aguascalientes, Mexico, in December 2013.
“We did a ’17’ in the second round, so we knew the form was there, and we were quite controlled,” Edmondson explained. “So I thought we could do a ’15’, maybe, if we really, really unleashed. But I didn’t look up at the scoreboard for two whole laps, before I looked up and I saw ’13’ and I couldn’t believe that!”.
Edmondson said: “Then all of a sudden I was screaming even louder! That was a dream come true!. I don't want to ever take this jersey off, I’m going to sleep in it tonight, I reckon!” Edmondson added. “To stand up on the podium alongside these three amazing women and to have Bec Wiasak watching us and by our side the entire time, to know she could slot in and do exactly the same thing, and to know we've got Bella King, we've got a whole handful of girls back home who have really stepped up is really promising signs for Australia in the lead in to Rio.”
National record in the process
Edmondson and Australia had thrown down the gauntlet early on, with a fastest qualification ride of four minutes 18.135 seconds on Wednesday morning, breaking their own, recently set, national record in the process.
Great Britain hit back in round one, with a time of four minutes 16.979 seconds, to beat Canada and qualify for the Gold Medal round. Despite a slightly slower time of four minutes 17.410, however, Australia’s comfortable five-second beating of New Zealand meant that the quartet could save something for the final.
Despite a faster start from Great Britain, Australia was almost half a second ahead by the end of the first kilometre, and this lead was up to almost a second at the end of kilometre two. Great Britain lost Rowsell at this point and, despite going down to three riders themselves not long afterwards, the Australians continued to open their advantage to what was to be just over three seconds by the finish.
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini was also in action at the UCI World Championships, taking fifth place in Wednesday evening’s Points Race. The former two-time Road World Champion scored a total of 20 points at the ten sprints - more than any other rider - in a bid to take back the rainbow jersey that she won in 2009, but found herself too heavily marked to take a lap on the field and finished just five points short of the podium.