The rising stars of New Zealand cycling have shown their hands at the Age Group Track National Championship in Invercargill, revealing the future of the sport is in good shape.
Quality-sized fields have helped ensure racing is at the highest level, with several Under-17 and Under-15 riders staking claims for higher honours at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome.
World junior omnium champion Campbell Stewart from Palmerston North demonstrated his class and prowess by dominating the opening events of the Under-19 Omnium. He won all three events raced on Saturday – the scratch race, individual pursuit and elimination race, ahead of Southland’s Tom Sexton and Auckland’s Connor Brown.
Riders complete the final three events today - the time trial, flying lap and the 20km points race.
Fellow Palmerston North rider Michaela Drummond, a member of the junior world champion team pursuit, also dominated the opening three events of the women’s Under-19 Omnium ahead of Nicole Shields (Southland) and Emily Shearman (West Coast North Island).
Southland’s Corbin Strong continued on his winning ways to claim the Under-17 points race, his third gold medal at the championships, and is now eyeing further success by linking up with his teammates for the team sprint and team pursuit on Sunday.
“It was a pretty fast pace. I was hurting heaps before the race anyway and it’s just hard so I’m really just looking forward to the end of it to be honest,” Strong said.
He won the 2000m individual pursuit and sprint titles earlier in the week.
Southland Masters rider Kylea Gough made it four golds from four finals by winning the Masters 1 (35-44 years) keirin with a dominant ride. She hit the front from the start and controlled the race well to beat Canterbury riders Samantha Jones and Michelle Peterson.
She had earlier won golds in the time trial, individual pursuit and scratch race.
Karen Fulton (Tasman) rode a strong race to claim gold in the Masters 2 and 3 keirin final ahead of Southland riders Nicola Stevens and Erin Criglington.
It was a Southland trifecta in the final of the Masters 1 (35-44 years) keirin with Michael White edging out Brendan Akeroyd and Brett Roulston.
Canterbury’s Russell Ownsworth continued his solid performances to claim gold in the Masters 2 (45-54 years) keirin ahead of Wally Kopae (Southland) and Antony Brown (Auckland), before winning another gold in the scratch race ahead of Brown and Bruce Cook (Wellington).
Waikato’s Grant Tyrell, a multi-world medallist, won the Masters 3 (55-plus) keirin, beating Russell Scott (Auckland) and teammate Graham Bunn before also winning the scratch race.
More than 220 riders from around the country are taking part in the Age Group Track National Championships, which are being held at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome in Invercargill.
Masters 3 (55-plus) 5km scratch: Grant Tyrell (WBP) 1; Duncan MacKenzie (TAS) 2; Russell Scott (AKL) 3.
U15 boys derby: Mitchell Fitzsimons (MSC) 1; Kaio Lart (TAS) 2; Navarh Brotherston (CTB) 3.
U15 girls 1500m scratch race: Jenna Borthwick (MSC) 1; Zoe Croton (WCN) 2; Jenny Brown (SLD) 3.
U17 girls sprint: Shaane Fulton (TAS), 1; Madeleine Gough (SLD), 2; Nicole Marshall (SLD), 3.
CAPTION: Defending world junior omnium champion Campbell Stewart (WCNI) dominated the opening events of the U19 Omnium Championship at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome in Invercargill.
Photo courtesy Eugene Bonthuys