BikeNZ’s world class sprinters utilised their cycling skills to raise money for quake stricken Christchurch.
Commonwealth Games medallists Eddie Dawkins (Southland) and Auckland’s Ethan Mitchell and Sam Webster ran a coaching clinic at the ILT Velodrome today.
“By sharing the skills that we have with other riders we are doing our bit for Christchurch,” said Webster.
Over 40 riders from around the country attended and each made a donation to participate in the session. Along with the donations given at the RaboDirect Elite Track Championships over the weekend the riders raised over $2500 for the cause.
“We are teaching these riders the important bike handling skills. I didn’t learn these until two or three years ago – I was never officially taught them. By teaching them early we can give them a head start,” Dawkins said.
“And of course we are talent scouting for the next Sam Webster!”
For these young riders it was a rare opportunity not only to meet the heroes of the sport but to train under their guidance.
The timing of the session was ideal with top New Zealand junior riders in Invercargill ahead of the 2011 RaboDirect Age Group Track National Championship which start tomorrow.
“We will be here throughout the week to watch these riders at their championships and will hopefully seem them put these tips into action,” said Webster.
The skills covered in the two hour session included tactics and gate starts are applicable to all track cycling races, not exclusive to sprinting.
The trio, along with their fellow BikeNZ track team riders, head into camp on Friday for the final build up to the UCI Track World Cycling World Championships in the Netherlands at the end of March.
The sprinters aren’t the only BikeNZ riders doing their bit for Christchurch. Olympic medallist and RadioShack pro rider Sam Bewley has donated a signed 2008 NZ Olympic cycling jersey to be auctioned with all funds going to Christchurch. The jersey is signed by the Beijing Bronze medal winning Team Pursuit team- Sam Bewley, Hayden Roulston, Jesse Sergent, Westley Gough, Marc Ryan and Pete Latham. Bids for this already exceed $2000. The auction closes on Saturday.
You can view the auction here: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Sports/Cycling/Shoes-apparel/Shortsleeved-tops/auction-357559509.htm
Image: Sam Webster, Ethan Mitchell and Eddie Dawkins with some of the riders who participated in the earthquake coaching clinic.