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Glaetzer: a kilo at the nationals in 59.759

Glaetzer: a kilo at the nationals in 59.759

It deserves a lot of coverage for this is something special for Australian cycling. We take a moment to salute the efforts of Matthew Glaetzer at the track nationals.

 

Photos: John Veage

In an afternoon session – and as the only medal event to be decided during the opening stanza of the Australian track cycling championships – the ‘kilo’ has again made cycling fans stand up and pay attention… and, surely, applaud.

Rather, it was the ride by the maestro of the 1,000m TT of the current generation, Matthew Glaetzer, who demonstrated how well he has come to understand this brutally difficult test of strength.

He told RIDE after becoming the first rider to break the minute barrier at sea-level that he hadn’t ridden many kilos before setting a phenomenally fast time at a World Cup in Manchester. In November 2017, he posted 59.970.

In February 2018, he raced even faster on the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane.

The conditions aren’t necessarily condusive to fast times, but Glaetzer finished the four-lap event in 59.759.

Stand up Australia and give the man an ovation.

In the olden days this was an event that made Australian sport fans pay attention. We’ve covered that topic before in a report on Glaetzer’s accomplishments but it’s worth reiterating. For years the minute seemed unbeatable. Many a rider with a big reputation and superb backing had tried but none could break the 60-second barrier in Australia: not Martin Vinnicombe, not Shane Kelly, not Ben Kersten… no one, until today.

Glaetzer will, thankfully, be one of the select few from Australia who will race the world championships in Apeldoorn at the end of the month. He is part of the smallest team the Aussies will send to the worlds in years – a total of four: three men, one women – but and he seems to be holding the sort of form that could earn him a rainbow jersey… or two.

 

The nationals began today. The kilo is the first medal decided.

 

 

– By Rob Arnold

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