The Cycling New Zealand Age Group Track National Championships (#AGTNC) will commence at 7:00pm tonight at the Avantidrome in Cambridge. The five day event, supported by The Lion Foundation, brings together more than 200 of New Zealand’s best age group track cyclists from U15 through to Masters levels. The championships also include the elite U19 men’s and women’s omnium.
At the junior level, the championships are a breeding ground for future elite rainbow jersey wearers, with the likes of 2015 UCI world champion men’s pursuit team member Pieter Bulling setting national records at the 2008 and 2009 AGTNC.
A current world champion will also be donning a rainbow jersey during this year’s competition, namely masters 1 women’s rider, Erin Criglington from Southland.
“The Cycling New Zealand Age Group Track National Championships provide a unique opportunity to observe the rise of future champions,” said Cycling New Zealand CEO Andrew Matheson.
“It’s where we celebrate our talented track cyclists in all age groups and categories, and we look forward seeing the next round of national champions being crowned at the Cambridge Avantidrome over the next five days.”
AGTNC tickets can be purchased at the Avantidrome. The session times are:
· Wednesday, 11 March – 7:00pm
· Thursday, 12 March – 10:00am and 7:00pm
· Friday, 13 March – 10:00am and 7:00pm
· Saturday, 14 March – 10:00am and 6:00pm
· Sunday, 15 March – 10:00am and 6:00pm
Below are some of the riders to watch at the AGTNC.
Michaela Drummond (West Coast North Island) - U19 women’s omnium. Michaela is a multiple national title holder in track and road cycling. She has recently been selected to represent NZ at the ANZAC Cup in Adelaide in August, and has also been selected to represent NZ at the Junior World Track Cycling Championships in Kazakhstan later this year.
Campbell Stewart - (West Coast North Island) - U19 men’s omnium. Like Michaela Drummond, Campbell is a multiple national title holder in track and road cycling. He won the men’s U19 omnium at the 2014 Oceania Championships. He has also been selected to represent NZ at the ANZAC Cup in Adelaide in August, and selected to represent NZ at the Junior World Track Cycling Championships in Kazakhstan later this year.
Shaane Fulton (Tasman) – First year U17s. Competed in her first track nationals in Invercargill when she was 11. Last year won 500m TT, was 2nd in the derby and 3rd in the scratch race. Will this year be looking for a win in 500m TT and sprints and to do well in the scratch race. She is also a U15 Road Race Champion.
Niamh Fisher-Black (Tasman) - First year U17s. This is Niamh’s first track nationals but she is an up and coming NZ star on the road. There could be good things from her in the bunch races and pursuit.
Nick Warren (Wellington) - Master 1 men - Current holder of the hour record on the Hataitai Velodrome (41.135 km) as well as the Wellington record for 3000m IP and 1000m TT in the M1 category.
Jamie Hodgkinson (Wellington) – Master 2 men - Wellington 3000m IP record holder. The older of a father and son combo riding at the AGTNC.
Louis Hodgkinson (Wellington) – U15s. Jamie’s son. Louis lapped the field twice in the points race at the Wellington Centre Championships on his way to a clean sweep of the U15 boys.