Tasmanian team shines at nationals

TASMANIA'S track cyclists have returned home from one of the most successful national championships in the state's history.

Amy Cure's golden double in the individual and team pursuits stole the show but a swag of medals among the junior events reveals the bright future in the state's cycling ranks.

Tasmanian Institute of Sport head cycling coach Matthew Gilmore attributed the success to ``a simple equation of talent plus lots and lots of hard work and dedication equals results,'' while Cycling Tasmania's executive officer Collin Burns said the performers were a credit to Gilmore, Ron Bryan and Gene Bates.

``For a state that totals 40 female cyclists from under-17 to masters [that was] well and truly punching above their weight,'' Burns said.

The Tasmanian quartet of Cure, of West Pine, Perth's Georgia Baker, plus under-19s Lauren Perry and Macey Stewart qualified fastest (4:36.030) for the team pursuit final by just three tenths of a second and then denied Western Australia a seventh straight title by an even smaller margin.

Melissa Hoskins, Isabella King, Elissa Wundersitz and Tian Beckett established an early lead before Tasmania pounced on the advantage of having an extra rider to win in 4:31.661 by nine-thousandths of a second.

``It felt awesome,'' said Cure, who had won the individual event on Thursday and is embarking on her first year as a professional on the road with Lotto-Belisol.

``This is the first time we've raced the 4000 metres and we've never won a teams pursuit, so to be able to do that is fantastic.

``We knew it would come down to the end and it was going to be very close, as the qualifying showed.

``We've got two of the juniors in Lauren and Macey coming through up to the seniors, and they've deserved every piece of their gold medal.''

Devonport's Stewart also defended her under-19 20-kilometre points race title, her 27 points well clear of Josie Talbot, of NSW (18), and South Australian Alexandra Manly (17).

``I feel pretty fantastic but I'm really, really stuffed,'' she said.

Launceston's James Robinson was the pick of the junior male riders, claiming a fifth in the scratch race, fourth alongside Hobart's Gerald Evans in the madison, and bronze after 100 laps in the points race behind Callum Scotson and Jack Edwards.

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