02/06/2011 - Cycling Southland Development Officer and cyclist Matt Archibald hopes to keep his name in the Olympic selection frame when he joins BikeNZ's sprint squad in Germany this week.
Archibald, who left yesterday, and Aucklander Henrietta Mitchell will bolster the squad on its return to Germany from Russia as the sprinters look to continue their preparation for next year's Olympics.
"I'm a little behind the elite guys but I'm the next one in line so it's important that I make sure I'm ready if I get the call-up," Archibald said.
Recent injuries to Eddie Dawkins and Simon van Velthooven have emphasised just how important it is that New Zealand develop depth in its fledgling sprinting ranks.
It is the first major overseas assignment for Archibald, who made the switch from rowing four years ago, apart from a lower-key Oceania championships in Australia last year.
The New Zealand team is based in Cottbus, about 125km southeast of Berlin.
The city features an unusual velodrome. It has a covered track but an uncovered centre, and there is plenty of quality racing on offer around the region.
Archibald has been told to expect crowds of up to 5000 for some of the bigger races.
"It's a totally different style to what we are used to, very aggressive and there are lots of good riders so the quality is pretty high," Archibald said.
Article courtesy of The Southland Times