02/03/2011 - Tonight's second night of racing at the RaboDirect Age Group Track Cycling Champs promises plenty as another 13 national champions will be crowned. This morning saw qualifying in a number of events and the start of both the Mens and Womens U19 Omniums.
In the new U17 Team's Pursuit Auckland and Southland will square off in tonight's final after Auckland registered 2'35.758 over the 2000 metre distance. Southland's trio of Laura Heywood, Jen Muhl and Brooke Brazier recorded 2'38.314 to qualify for the gold medal ride-off. Waikato-Bay of Plenty will face a North Island Composite team in the bronze medal ride.
The Boys event was dominated by Southland's Michael Culling, Josh Haggerty, Jeremy Presbury and Liam Aitcheson who recorded the fastest time by over 7 seconds and will ride off against Mid-South Canterbury for gold tonight. Auckland who looked good for the opening half of their race before blowing to bits when one of their riders slipped a pedal, will face off against a North Island Composite team for bronze.
The Women's Keirin First Round went with the form book with Stephanie McKenzie, Paige Paterson, Kate Dunlevey, Olivia Wieblitz, Victoria Steel and Georgina Wilson qualifying for tonight's final. The Men's final will be contested by Matt Noble, Hamish Schreurs, Daniel Gate, Daniel Ellison, Harrison Perriam and Chris Sexton.
The Under 15 riders also had their first outing in these champs with 200m Derby races. Tonight's Girls final will feature Holly White, Amanda Rowe, Jaymie King and Bronwyn Graham. While the boys event will see Connell Leahy, Corbin Mason-Smith, Liam Haggerty and Josh Carpenter line up.
The Omnium events started for the Under 19 Men and Women with the Flying Lap. Southland's Sophie Williamson claimed a first up victory with 15.485 for the 250 metres while Canterbury's Dylan Kennett shaded Southland's Tom Beadle for the win in the Men's event with a blistering 13.572. Marcel Baird took third.
Southlanders also featured prominently in the Under 17 distance heats. The Boys Scratch final will feature Michael Culling, Jeremy Presbury, Nick Kergozou and Josh Haggerty while the Girls Points final will include Jen Muhl and Brooke Brazier.
Tonight's session will also feature the 500m Time Trials for each Masters Mens and Womens category along with the U19 Omnium's Elimination races. Racing starts at 6.30pm.