Reigning World Champions Josephine Tomic and Sarah Kent teamed with Kate Bates to claim the first gold medal of the opening round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics at
After breaking the all-comers record for the fastest time on Australian soil in qualifying with a time of 3minutes 24.244seconds for the 3000m distance, the women's trio shaved a further five tenths of a second off that mark in the final, crossing the line in 3minutes 22.171seconds.
In a nail-biting final against the German trio of Charlotte Becker, Lisa Brennauer and Madeleine Sandig, just four-hundredths of a second separated the two teams after the first kilometre. But the Australians picked up their pace over the final few laps to finish almost a second ahead of their rivals winning in a time of 3minutes22.171seconds.
"That time at this time of the year is pretty good," said Tomic, 21, "We were quite a few seconds ahead of where we have ever been at this time so that shows there are really good things to come for next year and the world championships."
For Bates, the 2007 points race world champion, the win marked her return to international track cycling. After the Beijing Olympic Games she focussed on road cycling until a crash in 2009 almost ended her career. But she fought back from a serious hip injury and decided to return to the track when the teams pursuit for women was included in the program for 2012 Olympic Games.
"In a way this is like my first World Cup, a new event and a new feeling after a little bit of time away so I am a bit reborn, but my birth certificate doesn't say that though," said Bates, 28, who took gold in the scratch race at last week's Oceania Championships in Adelaide.
"It's a whole new skills base and I have the world's best to learn from so I am really looking forward at what is to come and even though they are eight or nine years younger I can't have better people teaching me.
"With the incredible depth we have in
The Dutch and New Zealand teams set the pace early in the 160 lap 40km race, but a calculated move from the Australians at the midpoint saw them take their first lap on the field.
At the end the Australians were one lap up on ten points, New Zealand's Aaron Gate and Myron Simpson placed second with (14 points but a lap behind and the Netherland's Nick Stopler and Peter Schep (10 points) claimed the bronze medal.
"I came in today feeling a little underdone, but I still mentally wanted to perform well for
"We have a bit of a presence now in the world in the
"We have that presence now, and the confidence so when it does happen, we really push hard to make it happen and at the moment it's working for us," Meyer added.
In the men's team sprint,
The trio's time of 43.829seconds in the final was too good for
"Tonight was a good performance but not an exceptional one and I think a low-43 would be looking to win the world championships, so we probably have got another half a second to come off that hopefully," said Hoy, 34, the triple Olympic champion, who now turns his attention to Friday's keirin.
"I would like to try and dominate the keirin tomorrow and stamp my authority on it, that's the aim," Hoy said adding, "If you win then that's great but the important thing is to dictate the race."
Team Jayco-AIS' Daniel Ellis, Shane Perkins and Jason Niblett (44.545seconds) won the bronze medal ahead of Germany's Rene Enders, Stefan Nimke and Michael Seidenbecher (44.938seconds).
In the women's team sprint,
Reigning world champion Kaarle McCulloch was joined by Team Jayco-AIS team mate Emily Rosemond and finished sixth.
After the first three events in the men's omnium, the flying 200m, points and elimination races,
With the aim to complete the sixth events with the lowest points total, New Zealand's Shane Archbold (13 points) leads reigning World Champion Ed Clancy of Great Britain (19 points), with Canada's Zachary Bell (21 points) sitting in third. The omnium continues Friday with the individual pursuit, scratch race and time trial.
The Melbourne World Cup is the first round of the 2010-2011 UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics series and will feature more than 300 cyclists from 41 nations in action in 12 events over three days of racing. For more details please visit the event website www.trackworldcup.com.au Results and official start lists are available at www.tissottiming.com.