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Legendary men’s endurance track coach Ian McKenzie couldn’t have picked a better end to his career than day one’s results at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships.
His Australian team, made up of Michael Hepburn (21), Alexander Morgan (18), Glenn O’Shea (23), and Alexander Edmondson (19) may have been young, but it had all the experience and support it needed to claim Australia’s first gold in Minsk.
In true form, as our Aussies claimed victory over long-time rivals Great Britain by 4 seconds, McKenzie kept a cool head and seemed to be in control of his emotions. However it was definitely clear in post-interviews just how thrilled he was to have been a part of such a historic moment.
A respected coach for more than 15 years, McKenzie is regarded as a huge contributing factor in much of Australia’s success at an international level. As his final world championships and the 13th of his career, this cycling great has much to be proud of.
Just some of the fine achievements he has helped orchestrate include:
- gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, as well as a world record run
- gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens
- silver at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne
- gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi
- silver at the 2012 Olympic Games in London
- a total of seven world titles, two silvers, and two bronzes at World Championship Level.
Ian McKenzie won’t be completely disappearing from the professional cycling circuit. As he hands over his coaching role to Tim Decker, McKenzie will step into a new role as track endurance head coach in the Cycling Australia High Performance program, which involves more supervision.
He may not have as heavy an involvement in the development and training of our Australian cyclists anymore, but the impact he has had over his illustrious career thus far certainly won’t fade from memory any time soon.