Three of the fastest times ever recorded in Australia were ridden today at the 2012 Subaru Cycling Australia Track National Championships at the Adelaide Super-Drome.
South Australia's Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Alexander Edmondson and Glenn O'Shea blazed their way to an all comers record for the 4km team pursuit with an astonishing 3:56.834. Fellow South Australian Annette Edmondson inked her name in the record book in qualifying and then bettered the mark in the final of the women's 3km individual pursuit where she won gold in a time of 3:30.586.
Outside temperatures were in the mid-30s and inside the velodrome conditions were perfect for fast times and scuttlebutt around the vene was that the South Australian quartet, featuring two reigning world champions in Bobridge and Dennis, had their eye on a record.
Powering around the track in front of an adoring home crowd they were almost two seconds ahead of their rivals at the one kilometre mark and at half way were more than four seconds faster.
Queensland's quartet of world champion Michael Hepburn, Mitchell Mulhern, Nicholas Schultz and Jesse Kerrison were doing a fair pace themselves but SA was gaining with every pedal stroke.
Five laps from the finish SA caught and passed Queensland before powering on to record the fastest ever time on Australian soil. It shaved 79 thousandths of a second off the 2010 time of 3:56.913 set by Bobridge and Hepburn with Leigh Howard and Cameron Meyer at the Track World Cup in Melbourne.
The time was also faster than that ridden, albeit on a different track and under different conditions, by Bobridge, Dennis, Hepburn and West Australian Luke Durbridge to win the the 2011 world title in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.
For Bobridge, who missed last week's Santos Tour Down Under due to a hand injury sustained when he crashed in the time trial at the road nationals earlier this month, the win was sweet consolation.
"I've had a bit of a run lately with sickness and crashes, so to come back and do that, it boosts my confidence as well," said Bobridge whose last team pursuit effort was in Apeldoorn. "To be honest, I didn't expect to see 3:56 on the board, but sometimes you need something like that just to give you a bit of a kickstart again.
"It's just shows we have depth there in the team pursuit, with young guys like Alex coming up and being able to start and finish a '56 ride.
"Also it doesn't just give the state team confidence, it gives the national team a good look in and confidence leading into the next world cup and to the worlds," Bobdrige added after being presented with the Southcott Cup for the third straight year.
Dennis meantime has had a pehnomenal month winning both the national under 23 road race and time trial titles before taking out the mountain classification and best young rider jersey for his fifth place overall at the Santos Tour Down Under. He pulled out with four laps remaining in the morning's qualifying ride, but recovered well for the final.
"Obviously it's been a long month and it sort of caught up to me," admitted Dennis. "It was more a mental battle, not being able to finish that heat hurt me a little bit.
"It helped as well putting me fourth wheel as after Tour Down Under I don't have a lot of that initial burst so it let me settle in a bit more.
"I didn't do as much as these guys, but I just made sure my turns were hard," Dennis added.
Queensland's Hepburn was in awe of his counterparts after receiving his silver medal.
"That was a fairly classy ride by SA, and there wasn't a lot we could do tonight and we thought we were moving alright, but then they just steamed right around us," said Hepburn, who last night won the individual pursuit crown. "They have four world class riders and two world champions, so we did what we could do.
"Having said that, is great for the sport and an event like this that the event can attract so many world champions.
"There are not many sports in the world where you can pay $10 and see so many of the world's best in the sport compete at an event like this," added Hepburn.
The fourth member of the world champion team, Luke Durbridge, joined Michael Freiberg, Stephen Hall and Bradley Robson to secure the bronze medal for West Australia, posting a time of 4:05.507 which was too good for the New South Wales team of Benjamin Harvey, Scott and Jackson Law and Jackson-Leigh Rathbone (4:06.02).
In the women's 3km individual pursuit final, South Australia's Annette Edmondson backed up her blistering qualifying time with an even quicker final.
Earlier in the day, she posted 3:30.586 to eclipse the mark set eight years ago by New Zealand's Sarah Ulmer at the 2004 World Championships in Melbourne.
Tonight Edmondson went over half a second faster in the final crossing the line in 3:30.078 to finish seven seconds ahead of Ashlee Ankuindoff of New South Wales who stopped the clock in 3:37.264.
"I was feeling a little bit flat between qualifying and the final - I didn't know how I was going to go," admitted Edmondson. "But I just wanted to back up, I wanted to go out there and do another good time.
"I didn't expect to go another 3:30 - that was definitely not part of my imagination.
"I'm absolutely rapt, I'm so happy with my form right now ... it's better than what I wanted it to be," Edmondson added.
Defending champion Josephine Tomic (3:35.241) from West Australia defeated team mate Melissa Hoskins (3:41.049) in the bronze medal race.
In the under 19 men's team pursuit Victoria won the Bill Young Trophy for the third year in a row after defeating South Australia in the final.
Reigning junior world champions Jack Cummings and Alexander Morgan, plus Thursday's time trial gold medallist, Zac Shaw and Evan Hull, combined to ride a time of 4:08.745. They were more than six seconds faster than South Australia's Joshua Harrison, Thomas Kaesler, Robert-Jon McCarthy and Miles Scotson (4:14.830).
"It is fantastic to back it up for Victoria and especially with the rainbow bands on for Alex and I," said Cummings who teamed with Alexander Morgan, Caleb Ewan and Jackson Law to win the junior world title in Moscow last August.
"I haven't really had the best nationals so far, so to come out and ride a really solid time with a great bunch of guys, it's awesome," said Cummings. "The pressure of the rainbow jerseys is something good as it gives you that extra burst to go that little bit harder."
The New South Wales team of Caleb Ewan, Nathan Bradshaw, Tirian McManus and Nicholas Yallouris (4:14.491) claimed the bronze medal against West Australia's Trent Derecourt, Bradley Lindfield, Luke Vitler and Theodore Yates (4:17.480).
In the under 19 men's sprint Victoria's Emerson Harwood broke through for his first national title. Harwood was the fastest qualifier and dispatched team mate Jacob Schmid in straight heats in the best of three medal round to claim gold.
"I have mixed emotions right now about how hard I have worked, it means a lot," said Harwood. "The final against Jacob was tough as we know each other really well so we had to play some different moves."
South Australia's Alex Radikiewicz was too good for team mate Jai Angsuthasawit to claimed the bronze medal, also in straight heats.
Victoria's Caitlin Ward claimed her maiden Australian title taking out the women's under 19 keirin. Ward attacked at the bell lap and held off a strong charge from Korea's Jihae Park who was second with West Australia's Allee Proud third across the line.
"I am just so happy, this is just amazing," said Ward. "My uncle told me at my very first race that 'when the flag drops, the BS stops', so when I attacked I just gave it my all as I figured that nothing I did at that moment could be worse than if I did nothing at all."
In the women's sprint quarter finals reigning world champion Anna Meares and Sydney's Kaarle McCulloch breezed through to the semi finals where Meares will face Catherine Culvenor and McCulloch rides against with Victoria's Ziggy Callan.
The thrilling program of racing wrapped up with the under 19 men's and women's points races.
Trent Derecourt (WA) won gold in the men's under 19 25km points race using tactical nous to outmanoeuvre pre-race favourite Caleb Ewan (NSW).
Ewan established a strong lead early but a solo attack by Derecourt inside the final 30 laps of the 100 lap event saw him grab sprint points and a 20 point bonus for lapping the field. The eighteen-year-old then countered a number of late attacks to claim the gold medal with a tally of 31 points.
Ewan placed second with 23 points and his team mate Tirian McManus collected the bronze medal with 18 points.
"It hasn't sunk in yet, I mean this is my first Australian championships," said Derecourt after collecting his first ever gold medal at an Australian championships.
"I came here with the goal of putting in a good ride in the individual pursuit and at least medalling in the points race.
"I didn't really have a plan coming in here, but then I saw an opportunity to take a lap and it took a while, but I finally got there."
Taylah Jennings (QLD) controlled the under 19 women's 20km points race from start to finish placing in nearly every one of the eight sprints in the 80 lap event.
Jennings, along with West Australian Elissa Wundersitz, South Australia's Jessica Mundy and Victoria's Imogen Jelbart created much of the pace through the race, but it was Jennings who piled on the points at every opportunity. She had an unassailable lead heading into the final sprint but just to make sure she blasted clear of the field and ended the race with 31 points to take the gold medal ahead of South Australia's Jessica Mundy (19 points) and Tasmania's Georgia Baker (11 points).
"This is pretty exciting, I didn't expect this at all, I am over the moon," said Jennings after being presented with her third gold medal in two days. The seventeen-year-old also won the time trial gold in the afternoon session and yesterday won the scratch race and was second in the individual pursuit.
"The plan was to go out and get points early as I knew the West Australians, in particular Elissa, would attack.
"It is hard when everyone is watching me and everyone wants my wheel and it is hard to get people to work with me, plus it was a really fast race too, but I really enjoyed it," Jennings said.
The 2012 Subaru Cycling Australia Track National Championships are being staged from Thursday January 26 to Sunday January 29 6 at Adelaide's Super-Drome. A detailed event schedule, ticketing information, entry list and results can be found on the Cycling Australia website