DEFENDING CHAMPION: Tony Simonelli will have the chance to defend his title in the scratch this weekend at the Masters National Championship.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Tony Simonelli will have the chance to defend his title in the scratch this weekend at the Masters National Championship.

Defending champ returns to track for title defence

CYCLING: A national title is up for grabs for Warwick cyclist Tony Simonelli at the Track National’s this weekend.

The defending champion in the scratch race, Simonelli will compete against the countries best but admits he isn’t as prepared as previous championships.

“Training has been going ok; I’ve been improving from state championships,” he said.

“I’m not putting as much pressure on myself to win a championship at this carnival – I just want to take the time and enjoy it.

“I’m definitely not as prepared as I could have been.”

Against a competitive pool of athletes, Simonelli will take to the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane in the individual pursuit, scratch race, point score and the team pursuit.

“I’m in the team pursuit with Phil Seibel and Robert Partington, who are both from Warwick, and another chap from Ipswich,” Simonelli said.

“It’s the first time we’ll do a team trial together at that level.

“I think the chance has come along because we’re all going well at the moment, and we have an opportunity to compete as a team at the national level.”

Warwick masters cyclists Tony Simonelli, Phil Seibel and Rob Partington will compete together for the first time this weekend at the Track National Championships.
Warwick masters cyclists Tony Simonelli, Phil Seibel and Rob Partington will compete together for the first time this weekend at the Track National Championships.

While his expectations for the weekend are low, Simonelli said his focus for 2020 is later in the year, when he competes at the National Road Championship.

“They’re longer races and it’s road events not track,” he said.

“The road race will be around 70km, the time trial is 20km, and the criterion race is usually around 30 minutes.

“Training is a little bit different, usually if you go well at the track championships you tend to struggle a bit later on in the year; it can be hard to keep that high level going.”

Despite the focus of his racing being later in the year, his drive and determination to do well hasn’t wavered.

“I’m trying to have a win but if it happens, it happens,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to the scratch race and point score, and I’ll hopefully be able to go my best in the individual pursuit.”



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