Four Gold Medals and One World Record for ACA Riders at Commonwealth Games
ACA-Ride Sunshine Coast riders have finished a highly successful Commonwealth Games campaign, with two gold medal wins and a new world record among the best results.
The Games started with a bang for the team, when all three ACA-Ride Sunshine Coast riders were selected to ride the final of the team pursuit on the opening night. Sam Welsford, Leigh Howard and Kelland O’Brien lined up with fellow Australian team member Alex Porter to take the gold medal and set a new world record of 3:49.804.
It was the first time a team pursuit has gone under the 3 minute 50 barrier in the event, and the first time an Australian pursuit team has held the world record since 2004.
Sam Welsford followed up the disappointment of narrowly missing the individual pursuit medal rounds with a dramatic win in the 15km scratch race, with ACA team mate Leigh Howard and Australian teammate Cam Meyer displaying an impressive team performance to help Welsford to the win. Welsford came from behind on the final lap of the event to overtake English rider Ethan Heyter who led by more than half a lap, in one of the most thrilling race finishes seen at the Games.
After the scratch race, Welsford was elated with the win and the team’s performance at the Games.
“I’m over the moon, my second gold medal and this race is such a lottery, 60 laps and I was lucky enough to catch him on the last lap,” said Welsford.
Mayor Mark Jamieson congratulated the ACA-Ride Sunshine Coast cyclists on their tremendous performance on the track at the Anna Meares Velodrome.
“From night one, we have seen the members of our newest sporting team achieving at a very high level which continues on the excellent performances ACA-Ride Sunshine Coast has achieved since it was formed just a few months ago.”
“The team is off to a fantastic start,” Jamieson said.
“The Sunshine Coast is proud to have such great ambassadors for our region and the sport of cycling and we look forward to watching them progress throughout 2018.”
University of the Sunshine Coast Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill also congratulated the ACA riders on their impressive performance at the Games.
Professor Hill said it was gratifying to see how well ACA riders have competed since the academy was established at USC’s sporting precinct late last year, and he wished them further success into the future.