Shane Perkins convinced Australian sprinters are on course for London 2012
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Monday, November 07, 2011

Shane Perkins convinced Australian sprinters are on course for London 2012

by Shane Stokes at 9:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
 
Says team sprint trio will keep getting faster

Shane PerkinsAlthough the Australian trio of Matthew Glaetzer, Shane Perkins and Scott Sunderland had to be content with second place in the team sprint at Astana World Cup at the weekend, finishing behind Team Erdgas, Perkins has said that there’s much to be optimistic about.

Riding under the Team Jayco AIS name, the trio posted a time of 43.589 seconds in qualifying, breaking the Australian record. They were pipped only by the German Erdgas trio of Robert Forstemann, Maximilian Levy and Joachim Eilers, who clocked 43.416 seconds.

The latter then prevailed in the final. Perkins wasn’t phased, though, believing that they Australians will only get quicker.

“The team sprint was the first time we have ridden together so to come away with an Australian record, let alone a world high-standard time shows that the makeup can be even stronger with future rides together,” he said.

“We are all looking towards what is needed come April for the world championships in Melbourne and the London Olympics and from my point of view we are very happy with the standard we produced here considering the specific preparation for the team sprint.”

Perkins also finished third in the individual sprint contest behind Chris Hoy (Great Britain) and the Russian Denis Dmitriev. He beat Forstemann in the ride off for bronze. Rather than being discouraged, he believes that the gap between Hoy and the other sprinters is narrowing, no doubt feeling that the 35 year old Briton’s age will eventually catch up with him.

Perkins is just 24 years of age and the physical maturation process means he should continue improving for another few years. “Of course Hoy is looking good,” he stated. “I have never had any doubts about his ability to keep improving, but the world is getting faster.”

The Australian team had a strong campaign, picking up three golds, three silver medals and a bronze. The winners were Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch, who went within 15-thousandths of their world record in taking the women’s team sprint, the Madison duo of Glenn O’Shea and Alexander Edmondston, plus O’Shea’s individual pursuit success.

The next round of the UCI World Cup will take place in Cali, Colombia between December 1st and 3rd. The events will have a major part in determining Olympic qualification.

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