New Zealand’s best junior cyclists were pipped by Australia in the second Tasman Cup competition in Melbourne on Friday.
The competition was established last year as part of the International Track Series in Australia, to help develop the junior track riders on both sides of the Tasman and act as both preparation for riders heading to the world championships and advancement of younger talent.
After 12 competition events, the Australians prevailed 72-56 to retain the trophy.
New Zealand’s combination of Southlanders Emma Cumming and Ellesse Andrews won the team sprint in 35.330, but the men were pipped by Australia by 0.3s in 46.372s.
Australia got the better of the Kiwis by the slimmest of margins in the 4000m team pursuit. The New Zealanders clocked 4:48.066 to be edged out of gold by 0.32s in the women, while the men were timed at 4:14.894s, to be only half a second behind the hosts.
Manawatu’s Michaela Drummond, part of the world champion winning New Zealand team pursuit combination last year, took out the elimination final and was second in the reverse elimination race.
Double junior world champion Campbell Stewart (Manawatu) won the men’s reverse elimination with Canterbury’s Hugo Jones second. Stewart also won the scratch race where Waikato’s Jared Gray was third.
The other Kiwi victory came in the women’s keirin with national champion Cumming winning the final, after placing second in her heat. Team sprint partner Andrews was fourth in the final.
There were three other podiums for the Kiwi riders. Southland’s Bradly Knipe won his heat of the keirin but had to settle for second in the final; Manawatu’s Connor Brown was second in the elimination race and Central Otago’s Nicole Shields was second in the scratch race.
The juniors continue racing as part of the second of the two-day International Track Series events at the DISC Velodrome in Melbourne.
Full results: www.vic.cycling.org.au