Sport: Cycling Track
Olympic History: Rio 2016; Tokyo 2020
Highlights: Becoming Individual Pursuit World Champion in 2019
Coach: Jason Bartram
Year Born: 1990
State Born: New South Wales
Growing up in Menai New South Wales, a 15-year-old Ashlee Ankudinoff was an emerging triathlete who joined her local cycling club, St George CC, to gain a competitive edge.
She said she was "never a keen cyclist, in fact, it was my worst leg of the three," but after a string of good results and selection to Australia’s Junior Track World Championships Team, cycling soon won Ankudinoff over and she switched to the sport full-time.
Ankudinoff started out on the road but it’s at the track where she reached the pinnacle of the sport, winning four world championships and eight national titles, with the adrenaline rush and thrill of riding on a 42-degree embankment her incentive for pursuing the sport.
In 2008, she arrived on the international scene, becoming a junior world champion in both the team and individual pursuits. She then progressed to the elite ranks and claimed bronze at the 2009 Track World Championships.
The Sydneysider won her first rainbow jersey in 2010 when she teamed with Sarah Kent and Josie Tomic to win the team pursuit at the World Championships.
On her way to claiming a second team pursuit world crown in 2015, Ankudinoff and the team of Annette Edmondson, Amy Cure and Melissa Hoskins broke the world record to end Great Britain’s four-year dominance of the event.
Ankudinoff made her Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where her team finished sixth. She has also contested two Commonwealth Games, Delhi in 2010 and Gold Coast 2018 where she won gold in the team pursuit.
At the 2019 World Championships she recorded a historic double victory claiming gold in the team and individual pursuits. The latter a decade long goal that Ankudinoff set for herself when she first started as a track cyclist.
At the 2020 World Championships, the Australian team was unable to defend its world title, finishing fifth in the team pursuit.
Having finished fifth in the team pursuit at Rio, Ankudinoff had everything to ride for at Tokyo 2020 and Ashlee rode all three rounds of the women’s team pursuit for Australia as they finished fifth.
The former world champ who was competing in her second Olympics teamed up with Alex Manly, Annette Edmondson and Georgia Baker to post the seventh fastest time in qualifying, then went on to beat New Zealand and Italy in their remaining races.