New Zealand cyclists had a busy opening two-day meet at the International Track Series Grand prix in Melbourne.
Olympic hopeful Matt Archibald was joined by other Kiwi development riders as well as members of the Cycling New Zealand team for the upcoming Junior World Championships.
The Grand Prix series at the DISC Velodrome in Melbourne attracted the full Australian sprint riders using this as part of their build-up for Rio, with two two-day UCI category meets on Wednesday and Thursday and over the weekend.
Archibald, who heads to Europe after the weekend to press his claims of a spot in the New Zealand team for Rio, finished seventh overall in the individual sprint. He qualified fourth in 10.11s headed by Commonwealth Games champion Matt Glaetzer, and worked his way through two rounds before falling to Japan’s Tomoyuhi Kawabatu in the quarterfinals and finishing seventh.
He placed seventh in the keirin competition, winning his heat and then repechage but was fourth in the semifinal to miss out of going through to the final.
Of the other sprinters, Sam Dakin (Auckland) was 12th fastest qualifier in 10.490 and Liam Brown (Manawatu) 20th in 10.894s to both qualify for match racing, with Dakin ultimately won the B final. He also won the B final of the keirin on the second day.
Waikato’s Ryan Wills finished fourth overall in the men’s omnium, just four points from second place with wins in the scratch race and individual pursuit (4:29.209) and third in the elimination as his best performances.
Madison Farrant (Waikato) was the best of the Kiwi women in the omnium, finishing seventh after placing fifth in the scratch race and pursuit (3:56.53) as her best performances.
There was success sin the junior competition with double junior world champion Campbell Stewart (Manawatu) winning the scratch race with teammate Connor Brown (Auckland) fourth, and third in the second scratch event on the second day. Stewart also won the elimination with Tom Sexton (Southland) fourth. Brown finished third in the points race on the second day.
In the women Michaela Drummond (Manwatu), part of the junior world champion team pursuit, win the elimination race with Ellesse Andrews (Southland) fourth. Drummond also won the junior women’s scratch race with an impressive ride and was second in the 7.5km points race
Southland sprinters Emma Cumming and Bradly Knipe were both runners up in the keirin competition, after they won their respective qualifying heats.
Knipe qualified third in the individual sprint in 10.524s, winning his first round, quarterfinal and semifinal but edged by Australian Conor Rowley in the final.
It was similar for Cumming who was second fastest in qualifying in 11.720s, and won her quarter final, beating compatriot Andrews in the semifinal and losing to Brit Jackson in the final. Andrews, a first year junior, finished third.
The second Grand Prix competition, that features the full Australian sprint team and a number of international sprinters, will be staged over Saturday and Sunday, in Melbourne.
Full results: http://cyclingvictoria.org/results/2016ITSMelbourneGP/program/html