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Saturday night at the 2012 Track Worlds

May 1, 2012
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Easter for me meant a holiday in Melbourne to see a few things including the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, if I could find some tickets. There were none left online, but after lunch in the city with my friend, we checked the venue, Hisense Arene, and found some decent seats near the finish line for the Saturday night. It was simply fantastic as there were five finals that night and we saw three Australian gold medals awarded: Anna Meares in the Keirin, Michael Hepburn in the Individual Pursuit and the absolutely amazing Cameron Meyer in the Points Race. Cameron’s win from behind in the final stages was the big highlight for me because I think nearly everyone must have written him off towards the end. He was marked so heavily as the defending champion that he failed to get away after several attempts and he seemed to disappear towards the back of the bunch for about 20 laps. He must have been playing “doggo”, resting up because with about 15 laps to go he sprinted away with Aaron Gate from NZ and we all just shouted and shouted to urge them both on for the remaining laps. I was still hoarse of voice several days later. It was such a privilege to see this as I think it is likely to be his farewell gold medal in track cycling now that he concentrates on his road career. He is a complete freak and very likely to become the next big Australian cycling legend.

The all-Australian gold medal final Pursuit between Michael Hepburn and Jack Bobridge was also great to watch and of course Anna’s domination in the Keirin was a real crowd pleaser too. The  final between Michael and Jack was a little strange to many people there because I think most felt like I did and really did not know who to barrack for. Michael was probably the underdog and it was great to see him win. Jack Bobridge is another future legend. I just felt so lucky to see all of this on one night.

2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships: Jason Kenny warming up

Jason Kennyis shown in this image.

We all urged Annette Edmonson on to her silver in the Omnium and I think the other highlight of the night involved the unfortunate relegation of the brave Jason Kenny (GBR) in the final of the Sprint against Gregory Bauge (FRA). He simply jumped from the gun, catching everyone, including Bauge, by surprise and only just strayed out of his line on the last bend to be relegated to silver, even though just about everyone in the stadium was willing him to succeed. I nearly jumped out of the stands. One of the images is of Jason Kenny warming up before the final. Bauge seemed unbeatable, but if Kenny had pulled this off it would at least have been one-all before the final sprint. I doubt there were many non-French folk in the arena not screaming for Kenny in that race. What he did in that second race was so brave I was left in complete admiration for him. I think Shane Perkins (AUS) would have been too. He lost the ride off for Bronze against Chris Hoy (GBR).

Sport at its finest for Easter 2012.
Mal Booth
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