The men’s team pursuit cycling team earned a bronze medal on the final day of the UCI World Cup in London today.
They easily beat off the challenge from Belgium for the bronze, while world champions Australia beat hosts Great Britain for the gold.
BikeNZ High Performance Director Mark Elliott said the World Cup had proven invaluable for the New Zealand squad to gain an insight and experience on the new Olympic velodrome and to evaluate their overall progress.
“A number of countries came to London as a real focus and quite a number of riders came with top form as they chase key qualifying points for both the upcoming world championships and the Olympics,” Elliott said.
“Our endurance squads have trained through this meet and are targeting April’s world championships and therefore results here were not the primary aim.
“That said, there are areas they we need to address and improve. The men’s pursuit improved today and with the return of Jesse Sergent they should be a real contender.
“The girls had a disappointing ride but we believe that is an aberration, as their training form had been excellent.
“The omnium riders improved in the key areas they were focussing on while I am pleased with the continued progress from the sprinters, particularly the women who got the most out of this experience.”
The BikeNZ quartet of Marc Ryan, Sam Bewley, Westley Gough and Aaron Gate clocked a slick 3:59.242 to claim the bronze today, just under three seconds slower than Great Britain in their final, while Australia continue to be the benchmark.
Christchurch rider Joanne Kiesanowski enjoyed an outstanding second day of competition in the omnium today. She had a two-second personal best to be sixth fastest in the individual pursiuit in 3:41.887 and rode with real nous to be fifth in the scratch race along with a solid 36.752s in the 500m time trial. This lifted Kiesanowski to 10th in the overall standings.
Otago’s Katie Schofield had a strong effort in the keirin repechage although she did not progress to the semifinals after finishing third in the quarterfinal. Hansen was rolled over on the line by a Chinese rider to miss out in the repechage.
BikeNZ will name their team for April’s world championship in Melbourne shortly.
Results, day 4:
Men’s 4000m team pursuit, gold medal: Australia 3:54.615, 1; Great Britain 3:56.330, 2. Bronze medal: New Zealand (Marc Ryan, Aaron Gate, Westley Gough, Sam Bewley) 3:59.242, 3; Belgium 4:04.956, 4.
Women’s omnium, day 2, 3000m individual pursuit: Tara Whitten (CAN) 3:31.604, 1; Laura Trott (GBR) 3:35.388, 2; Sarah hammer (USA) 3:38.553, 3. Also: Joanne Kiesanowski (NZL) 3:41.887, 6.
Scratch race 10km: Tatslana Sharakova (BLR) 1, Hammer 2, Li Huang (CHN) 3. Also: Kiesanowski 5.
500m time trial: Trott 35.642, 1; Sharakova 35.645, 2; Jane Edmondson (AUS) 35.718, 3. Also: Kiesanowski 36.752, 10.
Overall standings: Hammer and Edmonson 30 points, equal 1; Trott 32, 3. Also: Kiesanowski 62, 10.
Men Sprint qualifying: Chris Hoy (GBR) 9>932, 1; Kevin Sireau (FRA) 10.026, 2; Maximillan Levy (GER) 10.096, 3. Also: Eddie Dawkins (NZL) 10.272, 13; Sam Webster 10.325, 19.
First round: Robert Forstemann (Ger) bt Dawkins.
Final: Hoy 1, Levy 2, Forstemann 3.
Women’s Keirin final: Simona Krupeckaite (LTU) 1, Wai Lee (HKG) 2, Shuang Guo (CHN) 3.