World bronze medal for Alex

Multisport Mecca - - News -

TEENAGE Sun­shine Coast cy­cling sen­sa­tion Alex Martin-Wal­lace se­cured a bronze medal at the 2017 UCI Ju­nior Track World Cham­pi­onships in Mon­tichiari, Italy.

Alex claimed bronze in the scratch race hav­ing ear­lier pulled on the green and gold in team pur­suit qual­i­fy­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to Cy­cling Aus­tralia, Alex was well po­si­tioned through­out the race and then un­leashed her pow­er­ful turn of speed to sprint her way on to the podium with bronze.

“I’m so happy to get bronze it’s my first race on the world stage as a ju­nior and I re­ally went in to it just try­ing to get some ex­pe­ri­ence, so re­ally happy to come away with a medal,” said an ex­cited Alex.

“The scratch race was a re­ally good op­por­tu­nity to get used to how they race over here.”

The Cy­cling Aus­tralia re­port said the open­ing 15 of 30 laps were raced at a fairly se­date pace be­fore a three-rider group of Ali­jah Beatty (United States), Pe­tra Sev­cikova (Czech Repub­lic) and Olha Ku­lynych (Ukraine) at­tacked quickly gain­ing a small ad­van­tage on the bunch. Bel­gium’s Shari Bos­suyt bridged across and con­tin­ued over the top solo, and looked to be steal­ing the show with the bunch un­will­ing to take up the chase.

With the laps count­ing down the bunch fi­nally swung in to ac­tion with three laps re­main­ing, with the field back to­gether as the bell sounded. Martina Fi­danza (Italy) was the first to open her sprint and was able to hold off the charge from My­lene De Zoete (Nether­lands) with Alex com­plet­ing the podium.

There wasn’t great news for Alex in the women’s madi­son, where she suf­fered a crash.

Alex and Maeve Plouffe (SA) fin­ished a brave sixth af­ter a heavy crash in the first third of the race af­ter mak­ing a fly­ing start.

Af­ter edg­ing even­tual gold medal­lists Italy in the open­ing sprint to take the early lead the Aus­tralian pair took sec­ond in sprint two to hold the equal lead with home na­tion.

A lap later Alex was in­volved in a crash with the Ital­ian team also go­ing down. De­spite the set back both Maeve and Alex bat­tled all the way to fin­ish sixth.

Alex was also part of the team pur­suit which fea­tured Jade Haines (WA), Alice Culling (VIC) and Maeve. They fin­ished fourth over­all in a close bat­tle with France hav­ing ear­lier set a new Aus­tralian record in the first round.

A time of 4mins 33.246secs for 16 laps of the track in round one not only earned them a ride for a medal but slashed more than three sec­onds off the pre­vi­ous best time by an Aus­tralian team. The ex­ist­ing record of 4mins 36.792secs was set by Jade, Kristina Clo­nan, Ni­cola Mac­Don­ald and Ruby Rose­man-Gan­non a year ago in Switzer­land.

Italy set a new world record of 4mins 21.554 to col­lect gold ahead of New Zealand (4:27.610).

Alex was born and raised on Hamilton Is­land where she started rac­ing triathlon.

Af­ter mov­ing to the Sun­shine Coast at the age of eight, rid­ing around the Coast (and then even­tu­ally on the velo­drome), cy­cling be­came her first love.

“Alex was al­ways strong in cri­terium rac­ing which is still her strength to­day, on and off the road, as well as time tri­als,” her mum Tess said.

“Alex is very easy go­ing and doesn't over an­a­lyse any­thing, so her suc­cess has come as a sur­prise. But she is sen­si­ble and grounded, she eats well, sleeps well, trains hard and stud­ies hard for Year 12. She just has to be very ef­fec­tive with time man­age­ment.”

PHOTO: FILE

Alexan­dra Martin-Wal­lace won bronze in the women’s scratch race at the ju­nior world track cham­pi­onships.

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