Depth in numbers and talent is exciting Cycling New Zealand after the conclusion of the Skoda Track Cycling National Championships at the Avantidrome in Cambridge.
While the big guns, led by the team sprint world champions, shone on the final day, the championships also celebrated the emergence of some serious young talent.
Cycling New Zealand head coach Dayle Cheatley said there were good signs for the future, impressed with the growing depth particularly in the women’s endurance racing.
“Probably my single biggest highlight was the men’s 1000m time trial where five riders went 1:01 or better. You won’t see that anywhere else in the world at a national championship let alone an international event,” Cheatley said.
Cheatley singled out Sam Webster for special praise after his clean sweep of all sprint events this week.
The emergence of exciting young talent showed with the three major endurance titles won by 19-year-old Regan Gough in the points race, 20 year old Dylan Kennett in the individual pursuit and the scratch race by 21 year old Alex Frame. Kennett joined with Sam Dobbs to claim the 25km Madison – the final event of the championships – from Gough and his junior world championship teammate Luke Mudgway.
“The performances from the likes of Regan Gough, Nick Kergozou, Zac Williams and others are all good signs. There are also some talented young girls coming through like Olivia Podmore and Emma Cumming.
“There is some really good cycling talent for the future.
“In the high performance programme we have never had a structure like we do right now and that is exciting to have looking towards not only Rio but with some great new coaches looking after our targeted development riders for 2020 outcomes.”
The final night saw the Auckland combination of Webster, Williams and Ethan Mitchell claim the men’s team sprint from last year’s winners Southland in a tight battle.
The women’s honours remained with Southland with Steph Mckenzie, completing a clean sweep of four national titles, teaming with Natasha Hansen to dominate the team sprint over Otago.
Southland produced a classy display to claim the men’s 4000m team pursuit honours, prevailing over the youthful East Coast North Island unit.
Only fractions separated the pair in qualifying and it looked close again today until the strength of key international Piet Bulling and omnium rider Cam Karwowski gave the southerners the advantage. They lost a rider late but managed to hold off the opposition to win in 4:05.58.
Waikato Bay of Plenty were too classy in the women’s team pursuit with the combination of Rushlee Buchanan, Racquel Sheath, Jaime Nielsen and Pip Sutton overtaking Auckland two laps from the finish of the 3000m battle.
In under-19 honours, Podmore continued her winning ways in the team sprint with Canterbury teammate Rose Marshall-Lee while Southland’s Hamish Beadle, Tom Sexton, Bradley Knipe prevailed in the junior men.
In Para-Cycling, Wellington’s Kate Horan broke her own national record in the C4 3000m individual pursuit in 4:12.737, more than three seconds inside the previous mark.
Auckland’s Byron Raubenheimer followed suit when he pipped his own record in the C4-5 4000m individual pursuit in 5:09.745, a second under his previous record.
Tomorrow morning Cycling New Zealand will name the team for this month’s UCI Track Cycling World Championships.
Men, 4000m team pursuit qualifying: Southland (C Karwowski, P Bulling, L Aitcheson, N Kergozou) 4:10.371, 1; East Coast North Island (L Mudgway, R Gough, W Gough, R Sheath) 4:10.411, 2; Mid South Canterbury (M Ryan, K Kennett, A Hooper, D Rafferty) 4:11.892, 3; Canterbury (A Frame, M Beckert, M Jones, H Jones) 4:17.622.
Final: Southland 4:05.58, 1, East Coast North Island 4:06.58, 2. Third-fourth: Mid-South Canterbury 4:10.07, 3; Canterbury 4:14.46, 4.
Men 750m team sprint qualifying: Auckland (E Mitchell, S Webster, Z Williams) 44.839, 1; Southland (J Presbury, M Archibald, E Dawkins) 44.942, 2; Composite (G Potter, S van Velthooven, D Rafferty) 46.760, 3; Southland No 2 (F Wybrow, B Stewart, K Watson) 47.190, 4.
Final: Auckland 44.02, 1; Southland 44.35, 2. Composite: 45.970, 3; Southland No 2 47.309, 4.
Women, 4000m team pursuit qualifying: Waikato Bay of Plenty (R Buchanan, R Sheath, J Nielsen, B Botha) 4:37.08, 1; Auckland (N Wollaston, G Williams, H White, M Park) 4:46.18, 2; Composite No 1 (H Gumbley, M Farrant, I Johnson, L Fairweather) 4:56.23, 3; Canterbury (E Steel, T Jenkins, A Grubb, R Marshall-Lee) 4:57.10, 4.
Final: Waikato BOP 1, Auckland caught, 2. Third-Fourth: Composite 4:50.505, 3; Canterbury 4:51.308, 2.
500m team sprint qualifying: Southland (S McKenzie, N Hansen) 34.42, 1; Canterbury No 1 (K Shearer, G Payne) 36.46, 2; Otago (K Schofield, A Keith) 36.68, 3; Waikato Bay of Plenty (J Nielsen, T Young) 36.68, 4.
Final: Southland 34.604, 1; Canterbury 36.627, 2. Third-fourth: Waikato Bay of Plenty 36.415, 3; Otago 36.729, 4.
Madison 25km: Dylan Kennett and Sam Dobbs 3 points, 1; Regan Gough and Luke Mudgway 20, `1 lap down, 2; Aaron Gate and Piet Bulling 15, one lap down, 3.
Women U19 500m team sprint qualifying:
Canterbury (O Podmore, R Marshall-Lee) 37.221, 1; Southland (E Cumming, M Smith) 37.343, 2; Waikato Bay of Plenty (R Dunn, J King) 37.978, 3; West Coast North Island (M Walker, M Drummond) 38.014, 4.
Final: Canterbury 37.033, 1; Southland 37.445, 2. Third-Fourth: Waikato Bay of Plenty 37.503, 3; West Coast North Island 37.851, 4.
Men U19 750m team sprint qualifying: Southland (H Beadle, T Sexton, B Knipe) 48.319, 1; Canterbury (H Jones, S Buckner, M Jones) 48.818, 2; West Coast North Island (L Brown, C Simpson, J Cuff) 50.182, 3; Auckland (L Kerby, B Leitch, M Carswell) 50.473, 4.
Final: Southland 48.320, 1; Canterbury 49.199, 2. Third-Fourth: West Coast North Island 49.741, 3; Auckland 50.417, 4.
Women C1-C5 3000m individual pursuit: Kate Horan (Wellington) 4:12.737, 1 (NZ Record).
Men C4C5 4000m individual pursuit: Byron Raubenheimer (Auckland) 5:09.745, 1 (NZ Record).