The 2014 world champion sprinters will spearhead the Cycling New Zealand team for the opening round of the UCI Track World Cup in Colombia next month.
Cycling New Zealand will send a 16-strong team for the first of three UCI World Cup competitions in Cali on 30 October-1 November which provide key qualifying points for the 2016 world championships and next year’s Rio Olympics.
The second of the three World Cup meets will be staged in New Zealand for the first time, set for the Avantidrome in Cambridge on December 4-6.
Team sprint world champions last year, Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins will lead the New Zealand team, fresh from victory over Australia in the Oceania Championships last weekend.
The men’s sprint team is joined by London Olympic medallist Simon van Velthooven who will compete in the keirin competition for New Zealand’s trade team under the High Performance Sport NZ banner.
The bulk of the team all competed with success at the Oceania Championships, which provided important racing preparation and Olympic points.
London Olympian Natasha Hansen is paired with Katie Schofield for the women’s sprint, after coming back into the international scene at Cali in January. The pair finished second to Olympic champions Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch at the Oceania Championships where Hansen finished second in the 500m time trial and third in the sprint behind the Australians.
The endurance teams for Cali are mostly from the squads that competed with success at Invercargill last week.
The men’s team pursuit squad has one significant change from the one that beat Australia last week, with the returning Hayden Roulston replaced by Commonwealth Games gold medallist Shane Archbold.
Roulston will return to complete his final road obligations with Trek Factory Racing, allowing Archbold, who is a member of the Bora Argon 18 UCI Pro Continental squad in Europe, to put his hand up for Olympic consideration. He has joined the squad in Cambridge this week.
The women’s endurance squad remains unchanged after beating the Australian combination at the Oceania Championships, with a further chance for this development group to push for selection contention for further World Cups, next year’s world championships and for Rio.
The team leaves for Colombia next Thursday.
Men’s Endurance: Shane Archbold (Timaru), Aaron Gate (Auckland), Cameron Karwowski (Invercargill), Nick Kergozou (Invercargill), Luke Mudgway (Palmerston North).
Women’s endurance: Holly Edmondston (Waimate), Kirstie James (Invercargill), Alysha Keith (Dunedin), Liz Steel (Christchurch), Philippa Sutton (Hamilton).
Men’s sprint: Ethan Mitchell (Auckland), Sam Webster (Auckland), Eddie Dawkins (Invercargill).
Women’s sprint: Katie Schofield (Dunedin), Natasha Hansen (Invercargill).
HPSNZ: Simon van Velthooven (Feilding).
CAPTION: Ethan Mitchell leads Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins in the team sprint at the world championships this year.
Photo courtesy Guy Swarbrick.