Date: Friday, 07 March 2014
Posted by: Cycling Southland

World champions Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins went within a blink of becoming the first riders under the magical 10 second barrier in sprint qualifying on the second day of the BikeNZ Track Nationals in Cambridge today.

Dawkins, who became the first New Zealander under the mark in this country late last year at Invercargill, went 10.080s in his qualifying but defending champion Webster edged him with a 10.066s to claim top spot.

The pair were part of the team sprint that won the world title at Colombia 10 days ago.

There was some impressive sprint qualifying with the top eight riders to qualify all under10.7 seconds for the flying lap at the Avantidrome.

While Webster, Dawkins and Matt Archibald progressed comfortably, Simon van Velthooven just edged Ethan Mitchell by the narrowest of margins on the final quarterfinal. Initially the  big Manawatu rider was relegated for crowding and contact on the final bend but this was reversed.

Mitchell went on to win the ride for 5th to 8th placings, with the semifinals and final tonight.

The 250m time trial winner Stephanie McKenzie topped qualifiers in the women in 11.405s ahead of defending champion Natasha Hansen, Auckland’s Paige Paterson and 500m time trial winner Katie Schofield.

The quartet all progressed through the quarterfinals to tonight’s semifinal.

Also on the programme tonight is the elite women’s points race, elite men scratch along with the semifinals and final of the under-19 keirin and the under-19 scratch race.

Detail and live blog: www.tracknationals.co.nz or www.bikenz.org.nz

Image courtesy Dianne Manson

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