SASI stars enjoy golden run at UCI Track World Cup in Hong Kong
A sensational effort by SASI's Podium Potential Academy athletes Thomas Clarke and James Brister saw them claim three gold medals between them and help Australia to success at cycling's UCI Track World Cup in Hong Kong and the overall series
Hong Kong could well be one of the favorite places in the world for SASI star Thomas Clarke following a stunning effort there at the recent UCI Track World Cup.
Clarke, 23, a member of the cycling's Podium Potential Academy, won two gold medals for Australia in the sprint, and team sprint with James Brister, respectively.
Australia won three gold, three silver and two bronze during the three days of competition. Overall it was the UCI Track World Cup champ after snaring 34 medals during the six rounds of competition in various countries.
Clarke said he was thrilled with his and the team's success.
"I couldn't believe it," Clarke said. "At first I didn't really hold any expectations and just wanted to progress.
"But as the day progressed I found myself high up on the ladder. And it was great for James too. When we knew we would meet each other (in the final) it was tough as we know each other so well. But whatever the result we would have been thrilled for each other. To get a win like that was fantastic."
Clarke also said the team sprint, won with Brister and Matthew Richardson, was a proud moment.
"It was our first ever team sprint together," Clarke said. "We went in with the best intention to qualify and we wanted to do the best we could…and we did. The crowd was amazing and appreciated everyone no matter where they were from."
Clarke's success has been an amazing ride since relocating in early 2015 from the ACT Academy of Sport scholarship program to SASI under then coach Jason Niblett. Clarke said he was aware at the time of the high standard of the SASI program and that it had lived up to all of his expectations.
Since the 2018 Commonwealth Games Clarke has been under the guidance of former SASI and now Cycling Australia Podium Potential Academy coach Lynne Munro.
For now it is a bit of rest for Clarke and Brister before competing at the Melbourne Cycling Festival between February 7 and 9.
Follow SASI online