Baker’s golden touch

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - ADAM SMITH

Ge­or­gia Baker’s rise on the global cy­cling stage has con­tin­ued at the UCI Track World Cup, with the Tas­ma­nian adding an­other gold medal to her 2019 col­lec­tion, team­ing with An­nette Ed­mond­son to win the women’s madi­son ti­tle.

THE Olympic hopes of Ge­or­gia Baker con­tinue to soar after the Tas­ma­nian star added an­other gold medal to her 2019 col­lec­tion in Glas­gow.

Baker teamed with An­nette Ed­mond­son to take out the women’s madi­son ti­tle on the fi­nal night of round two of the UCI Track World Cup. The pair dom­i­nated the 120 lap race early, win­ning five of the first eight sprints held ev­ery 10 laps, while fig­ur­ing in two oth­ers, to set up a com­mand­ing lead.

And de­spite a crash by Baker in­side the fi­nal 15 laps, the duo had a big enough lead to ride away with the win on 40 points, fin­ish­ing ahead of Great Bri­tain (31) with the Nether­lands 12 points fur­ther back in third.

“Go­ing into the race we were fo­cused on get­ting the lit­tle things right, wanted to make it sim­ple, fo­cus on the process and hope the re­sult came,” Baker said. “Ob­vi­ously, it did, we are so happy to take the gold medal and it shows all the hard work back home in Ade­laide is work­ing.”

The win con­tin­ues a stun­ning sea­son for the 25-yearold, who has over­come the death of her fa­ther to a sud­den heart at­tack in 2015 — as well her own heart surgery in 2017 — to firm for the coun­try’s track team at next year’s Tokyo Games.

Baker was part of the team’s pur­suit out­fit, along­side Ed­mon­son, fel­low Tas­ma­nian Amy Cure and Ash­lee Ankudi­noff, which de­feated Great Bri­tain to win gold at the track world cy­cling cham­pi­onships in March.

She added a sil­ver medal in the madi­son with Cure at the world cham­pi­onships.

“The Aus­tralian women’s en­durance squad has been fo­cus­ing on the Madi­son in par­tic­u­lar over the last cou­ple of months, so this re­sult means a lot not just to us, but the en­tire squad back home who have been help­ing us pre­pare for this track sea­son,” Ed­mond­son said after the Glas­gow tri­umph.

The Aus­tralian team’s fo­cus now turns to the World Cup’s fourth round in New Zealand from De­cem­ber 6-8, fol­lowed by the Track Cy­cling World Cup in Bris­bane a week later.

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