Big Southland sprinter Eddie Dawkins has signalled his intentions after claiming his third title on the final night of the RaboPlus New Zealand Track Cycling Championships in Invercargill.
The 20 year old added the men's sprint title to the kierin and kilo time trial victories earlier in the championship. Earlier in the day he ripped around the flying one lap in 10.249s to take 25/100ths of a second off the previous record and set the fastest time ever by a New Zealander with his performance at the ILT Velodrome.
He took on the final in two straight rides over Manawatu's Simon Van Velthooven, although he needed all his strength to edge him in the second of the best of three final.
"It's been a great week for me. I did not rest for this week. I was in the gym the day before it. So to achieve these results and times this week is pretty exciting," Dawkins said.
"I know I have a long way to go. But my goal is to get to the top of the world in this sport. I don't know how long it will take but I am determined to get there."
National sprint coach Justin Grace said Dawkins has stepped up in the recent weeks after winning the sprint title at the recent World Cup in Beijing and then produced two world class times in the kilo time trial and sprint this week.
"He is only 20 and sprinters don't reach their peak until their late 20s or early 30s, so the future is pretty bright," Grace said.
"There's still a lot of hard work to do and that is going to take time but we have a group of young riders in this sprint programme. The oldest is only 22, so that's the exciting part. We will need to be patient but it is very promising.
"I'd like to think we can be competitive at the world championships this year."
Meanwhile Canterbury's Natasha Hansen defended her national women's sprint title, beating Megan Blatchford-Peck (West Coast North Island) in two straight rides in the final.
New Zealand road champion Rushlee Buchanan saved her best until last to claim the women's scratch race over 10km.
The Te Awamutu ride made the telling break six laps from home and held on to win by the closest of margins after the experienced Joanne Kiesanowski (Canterbury) almost ran her down in the final desperate sprint, with local rider Sequoia third.
"It was the last event and I wanted to give it absolutely everything. If I did that and it came off, then it was brilliant. And if not then I gave it everything. So I am absolutely thrilled."
The men's scratch race proved another crowd pleaser when the young superstar Tom Scully burst out of the pack in a frantic last lap sprint to win by the closest margin.
Scully, who was saved until the scratch race tonight, did a lot of work at the front of the field early and positioned himself with a strong move with a lap to go, holding on to beat off Olympian Marc Ryan and the Points race winner Shem Rodger.
It set the seal on a brilliant few weeks for the teenager who has won five medals in the last two World Cups.
"The plan was to ride near the front of the field. I am pretty pleased with that," Scully said. "Hopefully that's enough to earn selection to the world championships and on to the Commonwealth Games. They are the big goals for me this year."
Talented Levin teenager Gemma Dudley won the five-event omnium title from Kiesanowski and Buchanan. Dudley, who won four medals at the junior world championships two weeks ago, won the 500m time trial, points race and sprint.
Olympian Wes Gough (Waipukurua) won the men's omnium when he edged out Beijing team-mate Marc Ryan with Tasman's Jason Allen third. Gough never one any of the individual events but was second in the kilo time trial, individual pursuit and scratch race.
Women's sprint, Gold medal: Natasha Hansen (Canterbury) bt Megan Blatchford-Peck (West Coast North Island) 2-0. Bronze medal: Katie Schofield (Otago) bt Hannah Latta (Wellington) 2-1.
Men's sprint, Gold medal: Eddie Dawkins (Southland) bt Simon Van Velthooven (West Coast North Island) 2-0.. Bronze medal: Ethan Mitchell (Auckland) bt Sam Webster (Auckland) walkover.
Women's TeamPursuit: Waikato Bay of Plenty (Rushlee Buchanan, Sonia Waddell, Jaime Nielsen) 3:32.217, 1; Southland (Gabby Vermunt, Sequoia Cooper, Cathy Jordan) 3:37.091, 2.
Women's Scratch Race, 10km: Rushlee Buchanan (Waikato Bay of Plenty) 1, Joanne Kiesanowski (Canterbury) 2, Sequoia Cooper (Southland) 3.
Men's Scratch race, 1`5km: Tom Scully (Southland) 1, Marc Ryan (Mid South Canterbury) 2, Shem Rodger (Waikato Bay of Plenty) 3.
Women's Omnium: Gemma Dudley (West Coast North Island) 10 points, 1; Kiesanowski 12, 2; Buchanan 15, 3.
Men's Omnium: Westley Gough (East Coast North Island) 14 points, 1; Marc Ryan (Mid South Canterbury) 16, 2; Jason Allen (Tasman) 23, 3.
Women's Team Sprint: Otago (Katie Schofield, Alison Shanks) 36.354, 1; Canterbury (Kiesanowski, Hansen) 37.337, 2.; Composite Team (Hannah Latta, Kaytee Boyd) 37.604, 3; West Coast North Island (Blatchford-Peck, Kate Dudley) 39.859, 4.
Men's Team Sprint: Auckland A (Myron Simpson, Ethan Mitchell, Andy Williams) 48.144, 1; Auckland B (Ben Simpson, William Harris, Jamie Bate) 51.589, 2.