The quality of track cyclists continues to improve with 13 New Zealand records broken during the Age Group Track National Championships that finished in Invercargill last night.
The Southland squad maintained its stranglehold on provincial track cycling by producing a dominant display throughout the age divisions and across the disciplines.
The combined Southland elite and age group teams comfortably retained the ACA Points Shield for a record ninth consecutive year. The shield is contested at the Elites and Under 19 National Track Championship and at the Age Groups, with Southland dominating since the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome opened 10 years ago.
The Age Groups provided the perfect environment for rising Southland star Corbin Strong who had a golden campaign, winning two more gold medals on the final day to go with the three golds and a silver he secured earlier in the week.
His fourth gold came when he linked up with Ewan Syme and Hamish Keast to win the Under 17 team sprint over the Waikato-BOP team of Taz O’Connell, Kiaan Watts and Jarred Treymane.
The three Southland riders were then joined by Jamie McIntyre to win the team pursuit after catching West Coast North Island on the final lap.
The Southland girls team pursuit team of Emily Paterson, Helena Rikiti, Tayla Lumsden and Camryn Akeroyd capped of a solid event with their first gold in the 3000m team pursuit in 3:47.925 ahead of Canterbury.
Records continued to fall on Sunday with the Auckland Masters sprint team of Cliff Parker, Russell Scott and Antony Brown setting a new mark in the 750m team sprint in 50.033s, pipping Southland by 3/100ths of a second.
Derek Tan earned a deserved win with an excellent ride off the front in the Masters 1 scratch race ahead of Michael White and Brendan Aneroyd for a Southland trifecta.
World junior omnium champion Campbell Stewart from Palmerston North demonstrated his class and strength to dominate the six-discipline event and comfortably secure the national title ahead of Tom Sexton (Southland) and Aaron Wylie (Auckland).
Fellow Manawatu rider Michaela Drummond, a world junior team pursuit champion, took out the women’s event ahead of Nicole Shields (Southland) and Emily Shearman (West Coast North Island).
Southland Masters rider Kylea Gough was a quiet achiever, riding superbly to claim five gold medals from five finals, teaming up with Erin Criglington on the last day to win the team sprint in 38.178 over fellow Southland riders Nicola Stevens and Leanne Dalley.
More than 220 riders from around the country took part in the Age Group Track National Championships held at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome in Invercargill.
U17 girls 500m team sprint: Tayla Lumsden and Emily Paterson (SLD) 37.615, 1; Sammi Ogle, Sami Donnelly (CTB) 38.021, 2; McKenzie Milne and Courtney King (WBP) 38.174, 3.
CAPTION: World junior Omnium champion Campbell Stewart (WCNI) dominated the events of the U19 Omnium Championship at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome in Invercargill.
Photo courtesy Eugene Bonthuys