WORLD champion Kaarle McCulloch might have won a gold and three silver medals, but she was more nervous for her young brother Jack on the final day of the national track cycling championships at the Adelaide Superdome.
For some time Kaarle, of Gymea Bay, has set Jack’s training programs, and she helps train him when she is back in Sydney.
On Sunday, it all came together
In the under-19 Madison, Jack McCulloch and NSW teammate
Tirian McManus won gold over NSW Institute of Sport pair Caleb Ewan and Nathan Bradshaw, after Jack had taken bronze in the under-19 teams pursuit.
‘‘I was so proud of him,’’ said Kaarle yesterday, resting at the Australian Institute of Sport headquarters in Adelaide after another ding-dong battle with fellow world team sprint champion, Anna Meares.
‘‘Jack is still only 17, this was his biggest test and he came through. I was as thrilled for him as he was.’’
Kaarle finished her own program with a thrilling end to the women’s keirin event, where she just failed to catch the breakaway Meares in the shadow of the winning post.
Meares grabbed the wheel of the derny pace bike from the start and used it to full advantage, powering away from her rivals as the bike left the track.
She surged to a massive lead, and McCulloch, who was caught in traffic, had to firstly pass four others before trying to close the gap. She made up enormous ground quickly but Meares held on to win by mere centimetres.
‘‘I realised the gap was significant, but not enough to withstand a good run from Kaarle, so I had to really commit otherwise or be run down,’’ Meares said.
‘‘This is the most level event for the two of us to come head-to-head; you saw that, I won it by half-a-tyre. [But] I’d rather almost lose than almost win.’’
McCulloch, who won the 500 metre individual sprint but was beaten by Meares in the Olympic sprint, was pleased with her finish. ‘‘It showed that, despite our hard training, I have the speed in my legs,’’ she said.
‘‘Another metre and I would have mowed her down. Her lead was just too great.’’