New Zealand’s track cyclists will head to Wanganui this weekend for much-needed competitive racing ahead of next month’s UCI World Championships.
They will compete in the International Night of Stars at Cooks Garden outdoor velodrome on Saturday, with riders competing from Australia, Malaysia and Great Britain in the event which has received UCI sanction as a qualifying event for the 2014-2015 World Cup circuit.
This follows the news that New Zealand has qualified the maximum number or riders in their selected events for the World Championships.
The longlist squad is in training with the final selection to be announced early next week.
“Usually we would use the national championships as our pre-event racing building into the world championships but with the building of the new Avantidrome, this event is after we return from Cali,” said head coach Dayle Cheatley.
“So this event takes on more significance for us. It will provide some great racing opportunities and some good opposition.”
The New Zealand riders will compete against three of Australia’s most talented junior world champions Josh Harrison and Jacob Schmid and junior world medallist Emerson Harwood.
“It will also present the final chance for riders to stake their claims for selection to the world championships.”
New Zealand has qualified for the team sprint and team pursuit, two riders in the sprint, two in the keirin and one each in the omnium, 1000m time trial, individual pursuit, points race, scratch race and Madison.
The current 12-strong longlist is likely to be reduced to nine or 10 riders to travel to Colombia on Monday 17 February with the World Championships starting on 16 February.
The International Night of Stars starts at 6.30pm on Saturday with sprint qualifying earlier in the day.
For details: www.cyclingwanganui.org.nz