Q&A With Nettie Edmondson on Australian National Track Championships

Wed 5 Feb 2014

Nettie Edmondson successfully defended her national titles in the points race and scratch race the Australian National Track Championships last week. In addition to earning two gold medals, the 22-time Australian National Champion took silver in the individual pursuit and bronze in the team pursuit. She checked in from a team training camp in Adelaide to review her performance at Adelaide and discuss her upcoming objectives. 

Q: What were your objectives fro the Australian National Track Championships?

My objectives were to defend my titles from last year, in the individual pursuit, points and scratch races, as well as lead a young and new state team pursuit squad to a medal/decent performance.

Q: Would you briefly walk us through each of your three races?

Individual pursuit: I was really happy to qualify for the gold/silver final in the individual pursuit. I didn't know what sort of time I would do, so my first goal was to make the final. I then aimed to win the final. I went out at a reasonable pace and tried to lift in the second half, but unfortunately Amy Cure was too strong. I had to settle for 2nd.

Team pursuit: The team pursuit was good fun. We had two under 19's and a young sprinter, so we were out there to try and put a plan to work and see if we could ride fast enough to make the finals. The girls did a brilliant job and despite riding together for only the first time on race day, we were 3” outside of the gold medal ride-off. We faced Victoria for bronze in the finals, and ending up securing the medal.

Points race: The pints as my highlight. I had good sprint legs, however three ladies, Rebecca Wiasak, Elissa Wundersitz and my very own ORICA-AIS teammate, Mel Hoskins managed to gain a lap on me mid-way through the race. I had to focus on winning each and every sprint from then on; a feat I wasn't sure I could achieve. Somehow I managed to pull it off to defend my title and take the gold medal ahead of Mel and Bec. It was really, really satisfying. What was most special was that the husband of South Australian commissaire Helen Baird who had recently passed away, presented me with my medal. She was really dear to me and made such a difference to the lives of so many cyclists in Australia, so it was nice to get the win for her.

Scratch race: The final race was the scratch race. I knew my sprinting legs were in good form, so my aim was to keep the race down to a bunch sprint. A few girls tried to break it up, but I made sure I got straight onto their wheels without letting them get much of a gap. Luckily this tactic worked out for me. It came down to a bunch sprint and my legs were fast enough to take the win!

Q: We've talked about your overarching objectives - gold at the World Championships and Commonwealth Games. How does your performance at Nationals (and current fitness level) fit in with the big picture?

I'm pretty happy with where my form is at the moment. My legs were fresh and fast in the bunch races; however, I can put a little bit more work into the back-end of my individual pursuit.

Q: What does the rest of this month look like for you?

Now the track girls are headed into a track camp in Adelaide in preparation for the Track Worlds Champs at the end of February. There are currently six track endurance women in the mix, five of which will be chosen for the championships. Fingers crossed all goes well!

[Editor’s note: Nettie has been named to Australia's long team for the Track World Championships in late February. The six rider long team will be narrowed down to a five rider team at a later date.]