Big Southland sprinter Matt Archibald gave notice to his more illustrious teammates with victory in the international sprint series in the USA over the weekend.
Archibald, preparing with BikeNZ’s sprint team for the Commonwealth Games, has beaten his teammates in the UCI Sprint Series at Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, where the sprinters have been training this month.
He beat Olympic medallist Simon van Velthooven in two straight rides in the final, with world champions Eddie Dawkins and Sam Webster settling for fourth and fifth respectively.
Dawkins topped qualifiers in the 200m flying lap in 10.30s ahead of Archibald 10.33, Webster 10.45 and van Velthooven 10.54 filling the top four places. Of the other Kiwis in action Ethan Mitchell clocked 10.68, with development riders Zac Williams 10.86 and Jeremy Presbury 11.00.
In the women Steph McKenzie, also preparing for Glasgow, was eighth fastest in 12.06.
All six Commonwealth Games riders won through the first round of elimination races, although Mitchell was beaten in the second round.
Dawkins, van Velthooven, Archibald and McKenzie won their respective quarter finals with Webster losing to American sprint champion Matt Baranoski.
Van Velthooven got the better of Dawkins while Archibald accounted for Baranoski, both in two straight rides in the best of three semifinals, while Mckenzie was beaten by Elis Ligtlee, the Dutch and European champion.
Archibald had too much speed for van Velthooven in two straight rides for the victory, while Baranoski beat off Dawkins for third. However, Dawkins was still able to feature in style when he was part of the winning team sprint, which also took out the track record.
It brought to an end the month-long training stint in USA, with the squad flying out to join the endurance riders at Bordeaux for their final three-week preparations in the velodrome before heading to Glasgow.