Five Southlanders feature in an initial 12-strong long list squad that has been selected for next month’s UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Colombia, including the latest World Cup gold medallist Tom Scully.
The newcomer is Southland’s Scully, who has made a successful return to the track in recent weeks. The 23-year-old was one of the country’s most promising riders, winning a World Cup scratch race in Melbourne four years ago but suffered a serious injury when he crashed into a lamp-post in a sprint finish riding for the New Zealand road team at the RAS Tour of Ireland in 2010.
After nearly a year out on recovery, he moved to the road in Europe but put his hand up on his return to the track last month, riding impressively in the Oceania Championships and last week won the Madison with Patrick Bevin and was second in the points race at the World Cup in Mexico.
“The long list includes the same group of riders who have been in the High Performance squad for the past year or more, plus Tom Scully who fully deserves his place after his performances and is a welcome addition,” BikeNZ High Performance Director, Mark Elliott said.
Scully joins Southland enduros Pieter Bulling and Cameron Karwowski, along with sprinters Eddie Dawkins and Matt Archibald.
The squad will begin preparations for the championships, with a team to be named once final quota places have been advised by the UCI, the sport’s ruling body.
Elliott said that are planning for a likely final team of nine riders, comprising a men’s endurance and men’s sprint group.
The High Performance riders not selected for the World Championships, including the women’s endurance and sprint riders, will be focussing on next month’s elite national championships which will form the final trial for July’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The riders are in the process of moving to the first centrally based programme in Cambridge,
The long list squad includes omnium world champion Aaron Gate and Olympic medallists Marc Ryan and Simon van Velthooven, along with the bulk of the squad that has been involved in the World Cup programme and last year’s development programme in Europe.
“Some of these riders will not make it to Cali and there is plenty of competition for those places. However all of this squad among others will be in the reckoning for the Commonwealth Games if they can perform to world class at the national championships and in training.”
The final team is expected to be named next week with the championships in Cali running from 26 February to 2 March.
The long list squad is:
Endurance: Aaron Gate, Dylan Kennett, Marc Ryan, Pieter Bulling, Shane Archbold, Tom Scully, Cameron Karwowski.
Sprint: Ethan Mitchell, Eddie Dawkins, Sam Webster, Matt Archibald, Simon van Velthooven.