A strong contingent of Southland riders will lead the charge with a youthful New Zealand team when they head for the New Zealand team leaves for the Oceania Track Championships starting in Adelaide next Wednesday.
The championship, which carries qualifying points for world cup and world championships, represents the start of campaign looking ahead to the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympic Games.
The team includes some of the young riders from the under-23 development programme, the Olympic sprint team and also some of the riders who enjoyed success at the world junior championships, including Southland’s Eddie Dawkins, Matt Archibald, Jeremy Presbury, Natasha Hansen, Sequoia Cooper, Laura Heywood, Michael Culling, Cameron Kawowski and Pieter Bulling along with Southland-based coach Stu MacDonald.
A number of other New Zealand riders are competing at the championships under their regional colours.
Meanwhile, BikeNZ’s international track campaign for the summer begins on a youthful note in Europe tomorrow.
Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennett is the sole New Zealand representative at the UCI World Cup in Glasgow this weekend, staged in the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome which will be the venue for track cycling at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The World Cup has drawn a strong Great Britain contingent and several Olympic champions in what will be a big step up for the young kiwi from Waimate, who won four medals at September’s World Junior Track Championships in Invercargill.
It will be his first serious test over the full 4000m for the individual pursuit with coach Dayle Cheatley putting no pressure on the young rider.
“Dylan is one of a group of very gifted young riders that we want to nurture through to Rio, and that begins here in Glasgow,” said Cheatley. “There are no expectations here. It is the start of the season and the Great Britain team are here in force on their new home track.
“It is just the first step on a long journey for Dylan and an excellent opportunity for him to experience competition at this level as well as a chance to look at this new track with an eye on 2014.”
Kennett has a hit out tomorrow in the men’s scratch race with the individual pursuit set for Sunday (NZ time).
The teenager will then head to Australia to join up with a youthful New Zealand team for the Oceania track championships starting in Adelaide next Wednesday.
The BikeNZ elite and junior teams for the Oceania Championships at Adelaide (November 28 to December 1) is:
Elite: Men’s Endurance: Pieter Bulling (Invercargill), Scott Creighton (Hamilton), Dylan Kennett (Waimate), Hayden McCormick (Te Awamutu), Cameron Karwowski (Invercargill).
Women’s Endurance: Gemma Dudley (Levin), Sequoia Cooper (Invercargill), Georgia Williams (Auckland), Racquel Sheath (North Harbour)), Alysha Keith (Dunedin).
Men’s Sprint: Eddie Dawkins (Invercargill), Sam Webster (Auckland), Ethan Mitchell (Auckland), Matt Archibald (Invercargill).
Women’s Sprint: Natasha Hansen (Invercargill), Katie Schofield (Dunedin).
Staff: Craig Palmer (Male endurance coach), Stu Macdonald (female endurance coach), Justin Grace (sprint coach), Dale Hollows (mechanic), Chris O’Connor (mechanic), Mark Mathews (physiotherapist), Justin Evans (sports science), Daniel Healey (Manager).
Under 19: Men’s Endurance: Luke Wieblitz (Christchurch), Josh Haggerty (Invercargill), Connor Stead (Christchurch), Michael Culling (Invercargill), Regan Gough (Waipukurau), Cameron Ford (Nelson), Alex Hooper (Ashburton).
Women’s Endurance: Lauren Hobson (North Harbour), Alice Hay (Christchurch), Holly Edmonston (Waimate), Laura Heywood (Invercargill), Kate Stewart (Palmerston North).
Men’s Sprint: Jeremy Presbury (Invercargill), Zac Williams (Auckland), Chad Elliston (Auckland), Callum Saunders (Blenheim), Quinn Karwowski (Blenheim), Daniel Rafferty (Ashburton) – for team sprint only.
Staff: Ross Machejefski (male endurance coach), Mark Lucas (female endurance coach), John Rastrick (sprint coach), Ben Rowell (mechanic), Jessica Massey (manager).