The cream rose to the top with 2013 world champion Aaron Gate and Olympian Lauren Ellis winning the New Zealand omnium track cycling titles in Cambridge on Friday, while Southlanders Cameron Karwowski and Kirstie James podiumed and young Nick Kergozou really showed some form to lead after three events, only to be broken in the gruelling 160 lap points race.
The experienced pair came from behind to dominate the all-important final points race to win their respective titles at the Avantidrome.
The championships incorporated a training camp and coaching seminar as Cycling New Zealand look to develop more riders for this gruelling six-discipline, two-day battle which is one of the five Olympic medal events.
Young Southland rider Nick Kergozou, who led the men’s event after three events on Thursday, continued his progress finishing second to fellow Southlander Cam Karwowski in the 1000m time trial and then won the flying lap in 12.212 ahead of Karwowski.
However the demanding 160-lap points race proved the difference, with Gate showing his class and experience. Only three of the nine riders managed to finish and only Gate and teenage star Luke Mudgway finished on the lead lap.
Gate, recently returned from a successful European season with An Post Chain Reaction race team, won seven of the final nine sprints to clear out to win the title on 234 points. Kergozou did not finish to drop out of the contest, with Mudgway second overall from Karwowski.
Ellis shared the day one lead with Christchurch’s Liz Steel in the women’s omnium.
She was second to Southland’s Kirstie James in the 500m time trial and the flying lap to push clear into the overall lead.
Steel fought back to win three of the opening four sprints in the points race but Ellis finished the stronger to win with 203 points from Steel and James.
The riders now turn their attentions to the Oceania Championships at Invercargill in two weeks, and hope for selection to the World Cup competitions, with most interest in the second of the three event series, to be held in New Zealand for the first time at Cambridge in December.
Day 2 results:
Elite women, 500m time trial: Kirstie James (Southland) 36.983, 1; Lauren Ellis (Mid South Canterbury) 37.457, 2; Liz Steel (Canterbury) 37.612, 3.
Flying Lap: James 14.679, 1; Ellis 14.886, 2; Holly Edmondston (Mid South Canterbury) 15.037, 3.
Points Race: Sophie Williamson (Southland) 28 points, 1; Ellis 23, 2; Steel 22, 3.
Final total: Ellis 203, 1; Steel 194, 2; James 193, 3.
Elite men, 1000m time trial: Cameron Karwowski (Southland) 1:03.387, 1; Nick Kergozou (Southland) 1:04.016, 2; Luke Mudgway (Manawatu) 1:05.336, 3.
Flying lap: Kergozou 13.212, 1; Karwowski 13.368, 2; Aaron Gate (Auckland) 13.767, 3.
Points race: Gate 58 points, 1; Mudgway 41, 2; Karwowski 6, 3.
Total overall: Gate 234, 1; Mudgway 215, 2; Karwowski 182, 3.
CAPTION: Aaron Gate and Lauren Ellis in action.
Photos courtesy of Dianne Manson