SASI Podium Potential Academy stars gear up for UCI Track World Cups

SASI Podium Potential Academy stars gear up for UCI Track World Cups

Exciting times await some of SASI's young stars as they prepare for cycling's UCI Track World Cups in New Zealand and Hong Kong respectively later in January 2019

SASI athletes are ready to show their rising prowess when they take part in the final two rounds of the UCI Track World Cups with a mix of seasoned and Podium Potential Academy cyclists involved.

Jarrad Drizners, Maeve Plouffe, Sophie Edwards, James Brister, Caitlin Ward and Thomas Clarke, all SASI scholars, will take on international competition in either Cambridge, New Zealand, from January 18-20 or Hong Kong between January 25 and 27.

Launched by Cycling Australia in November 2018, the Academy focuses on long-term athlete development with the aim for success at the 2024 Olympic Games and beyond, in both sprint and endurance disciplines.

SASI athletes were thrilled to be a part of the program, especially being based in Adelaide.

James, who will compete in the Hong Kong cup only, said he was looking forward to the challenge.

"It is going to be good to be a part of an Australian team and to be involved in high quality racing," James said.

"This will help me prepare for more events when we get back. Everything is coming along pretty well and I am looking forward to the whole experience.

"I think it will be a very tough competition. The whole program has been a very smooth transition."

Caitlin, who has been on two World Cups before battling serious injury and form and relocating states, has shown outstanding courage and grit to get back to an elite program.

"Our academy is insanely supportive. To be able to go away with a squad and know they will have your back whether it goes positively or negatively that's a pretty big confidence boost for me," Caitlin said.

"The fact it is the biggest team we have sent away - that's amazing as well.''

Tom said the squad had gelled well in its time together.

"We rocked up on day one of orientation not really knowing each other but all really excited to see what we could do as a team," Tom said.

"And to see the culture that I think we have created is great to see. We're all really excited to see where the next 12 months takes cycling. The whole vibe of the team is exciting."

Jarrad also was lapping up the new program.

"The experience has been awesome, the facilities, support, atmosphere have been really good,'' Jarrad said.

"Everyone has come together really well. All the boys and girls enjoy each other's company."

Academy riders will form the majority of the 10-rider team for Round 5 in New Zealand. In what is one of the biggest Australian teams selected for a World Cup a 16-rider team will line up in Hong Kong’s final round.

The men's endurance team of Jarrad Drizners, Godfrey Slattery, Connor Leahy and Luke Plapp is looking forward to making its World Cup debut.

The women’s endurance team of Alexandra Martin-Wallace, Sophie Edwards, Sam De Riter and Maeve Plouffe, who made her World Cup debut last October, will contest round six in Hong Kong.

The sprint selections for round six in Hong Kong include debutants Brister and Matthew Richardson, in addition to Thomas Clarke and Caitlin Ward who will both return to the World Cup level for the first time in more than two seasons.

Australian Cycling Team Podium members Annette Edmondson, Kaarle McCulloch, Nathan Hart, Jacob Schmid and Holly Takos (possibly teaming with Caitlin in some events) will contest the fifth round in Cambridge.

Cameron Meyer, Samuel Welsford and Alexandra Manly will head to Hong Kong’s final round.

Australia’s leading sprinters and SASI scholars in Stephanie Morton, who collected eight medals including four gold, and reigning world champion Matthew Glaetzer who won three gold and a silver in the sprint across the first four rounds, will remain in Australia to prepare for February’s world championships.

The Australian cycling teams for the UCI Track World Cup Round 5 and 6 are:

Round 5 - Cambridge - New Zealand


  • Nathan Hart
  • Jacob Schmid
  • Kaarle McCulloch


  • Jarrad Drizners (named but believed only attending Hong Kong)
  • Godfrey Slattery
  • Connor Leahy
  • Luke Plapp
  • Blake Quick
  • Annette Edmondson
Round 6 - Hong Kong


  • James Brister
  • Thomas Clarke
  • Matthew Richardson
  • Holly Takos
  • Caitlin Ward


  • Jarrad Drizners
  • Godfrey Slattery
  • Connor Leahy
  • Luke Plapp
  • Cameron Meyer
  • Samuel Welsford
  • Alexandra Martin-Wallace
  • Sophie Edwards
  • Sam De Riter
  • Maeve Plouffe
  • Alexandra Manly

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Contact: Gordon Armstrong