Press Release: Queensland’s Michael Hepburn broke the world record twice in one day to win the men’s 3km individual pursuit and our women have dominated the team pursuit to claim gold in a World Record time at the UCI Junior Track World Championships in Moscow.
In the qualifying round Hepburn, the 17 year old Australian Champion, set a time of 3min15.743sec to smash his previous mark of 3min16.385sec set in the qualifying round at the Australian Championships in Adelaide in February.
"Coming into the Chamionships I was fairly confident and training had been going close to perfect so I knew I had better form than in February," said Hepburn who last year made his Junior World Championships debut but on the road. The draw for the qualifying round is based on last year’s Track World Championships results and junior track events raced in Europe and did not take into account Hepburn’s status as World Record holder.
"We weren’t sure where I’d be seeded in the qualifying but expected to be early in the order," he said. "In the end I was about five heats from the last one but that meant I had to pretty much go all out and not leave anything in the tank because we knew the Russians would be the ones to beat.
However his time was over a second better than that of the second fastest qualifier Russian Konstantin Kuperasov (3min17.172sec) who he defeated in the final for gold.
He then backed up to clip another .157sec from the time to win the World Championship crown in a time of 3min15.586sec demolishing his Russian rival in the process. Hepburn was alomost seven seconds up on Kuperasov by the end of the second kilometre and continued to surge eventually catching and passing the Russian with one lap to go.
"It was a bit of a surprise to go quicker in the final," said Hepburn. "Over the first kilometre it was pretty close and then I slowly started to build on it.
"Once I could see his back wheel in the same straight Tim (Coach Tim Dekker) just screamed at me to ‘go get him’ and I brought it home to catch him in the last lap," explained Hepburn. "I left everything I had on the track and justknowing as soon as I crossed the line that I had the rainbow jersey in my arms was pretty special and quite emotional."
The junior men’s individual pursuit record had been held by an Australian for more than a decade before American Taylor Phinney grabbed it in June 2008 in Los Angeles. But Hepburn snatched it back in February and has now lowered it further.
"Australia’s got a great record with this World Record so breaking it earlier in the year was pretty special and a bit of a surprise to be honest but I came here for a (World Champion’s) rainbow jersey," said Hepburn after the qualifying round in Moscow before getting on his bike and achieving his gold medal dream.
"I really want to thank everyone who has supported me over the years," said Hepburn. "I finally have the rainbow jersey but a lot of hard work and support from friends, coaches and family has gone into this so thanks to everyone."
Hepburn’s team mate Dale Parker placed sixth in 3min20.37sec.
The women’s line up of newly crowned individual pursuit World Champion, Michaela Anderson, Megan Dunn and Melissa Hoskins clocked 3min28.363 to defeat Russia’s Elena Lichmanova, Lidia Malakhov and Maria Mishina (3min32.487sec) in the 3km team pursuit final. The time of the Australian trio clipped three seconds off their qualifying time and topped the previous Australian record of 3min37.138sec set by the 2008 Australian women’s team in South Africa at last year’s Championships. Their time also lowered the world best time mark of 3min32sec ridden at the European Championships earlier this year. The World Record for the event, introduced last year, has not previously been credited but Australian team management have submitted the time to be listed as the first official World Record for the 3km women’s team pursuit.
In the men’s scratch race Alex Carver placed fourth. Victorian Maddison Hammond was 9th in the keirin and the women’s duo of Annette Edmondson and Megan Dunn missed qualifying for the medal round to finish fifth in the team sprint.
source: Cycling Australia