Cycling Southland’s sprint cyclists produced new records in elite company on the first full day of competition at the UCI World Cup in London.
While both team sprint combinations just missed out on tonight’s medal round, they both established new best times at the Olympic Velodrome test event.
The men’s trio of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Southland's Eddie Dawkins were fifth fastest in qualifying in 44.002s which broke the best time set at November’s Oceania championship’s and only 0.4sec from top qualifiers and world record holders, France and 0.15sec off the medal ride.
The new women’s combination of Katie Schofield and Southlander Natasha Hansen took a significant 0.3sec off their best time at the Oceania Championships to be eighth fastest in the women’s team sprint. The pair clocked 33.861, the first time under the rarefied air of the 34 second barrier.
Importantly the fledgling New Zealand combination were significantly faster than key countries including Venezuela and Colombia as they chase Olympic qualification.
Simon van Velthooven capped a successful day for the New Zealanders by taking a bronze medal in the Men's Kilo. van Velthooven clocked the fastest second and third laps to secure his second kilo podium of this season's World Cup series to take out the Series win in the event.
Tomorrow features the Women's Sprint with both Schofield and Hansen in action, van Velthooven in the Men's Keirin, Alison Shanks in the Individual Pursuit and the end of Shane Archbold's Omnium and start of Jo Kiesanowski's.