Date: Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Eddie - GlasgowEddie Dawkins has made a brief return to his roots.

The world champion track cyclist made a rare visit to his home track, the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome in Invercargill, yesterday.

Proudly wearing his world champion rainbow jersey Dawkins, with little fanfare, returned to where it started for a training session on the boards of Invercargill Velodrome.

The former James Hargest College pupil is now based in Cambridge where the Home of Cycling Velodrome is situated.

Dawkins is back in Invercargill this week to catch up with family and friends and admitted yesterday to getting a boost in energy riding around the track where it all started for him.

"It good to come back and ride on the boards here. It is awesome because I go to the track twice a day for six days a week in Cambridge, it is tiring and it becomes the norm. But coming back here is almost like a fresh start," he said.

"I've got so many fond memories of this velodrome so its great to get back to the roots."

Cambridge is fast becoming the high performance hub for New Zealand sport with cycling, triathlon and rowing programmes all based out of the the Waikato town.

Dawkins said it was certainly noticeable.

"It doesn't have a patch on Southland but that is just me saying that. Everything is geared towards the high performance athlete to help make them champions," he said.

"You spend the whole time running into [athletes] at the supermarket. You go out for dinner and there are four tables of athletes out for dinner, its chaos. It is good to get away from that every now and then."

Dawkins will spend some time over the Christmas holiday period in Wanaka before returning to Cambridge on New Year's day to resume training there.

The next major assignment is the world championships in Paris where the Southlander, and his team sprint members, will defend their world title.

The combination won bronze at a recent World Cup event in London and Dawkins was comfortable with where they were at heading into the world championships.

"Last year we got fourth, eighth and eighth leading into the world championships and we won the worlds. We've got third twice this year so it seems like we are in better condition now than we were last time."

Dawkins was also encouraged by the his efforts, along with fellow Southland sprinter Matt Archibald's performance, in the individual events at the World Cup in London.

"Even though we didn't get medals in the individual races it was a huge step-up for us because we are a very team-sprint-based programme. So for me and Matt to make it to the top eight in the sprint and for me to get into the finals of the keirin, it is huge boost for us, and for New Zealand trying to develop sprinting not just as three fast guys riding together well."

Article courtesy The Southland Times

Photo Getty Images

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