World champion Ethan Mitchell has retained his New Zealand crown on the opening day of the Track Cycling National Championships in Cambridge today.
Mitchell, part of New Zealand’s successful team sprint at Cali recently, dominated the field to win the 250m standing start time trial at the new Avantidrome. He held off his BikeNZ High Performance teammates Matt Archibald and Sam Webster in a repeat of last year’s podium.
Southland’s Stephanie McKenzie, a multi world junior championship medallist, claimed the women’s honours in 19.643s ahead of last year’s winner Katie Schofield from Otago.
Meanwhile 19 year old Dylan Kennett, a member of the medal winning team pursuit at the world championships, was the fastest qualifier in the 4000m individual pursuit in 4:25.056 and will ride off against Taupo’s Patrick Bevin (4:25.336) in tonight’s final.
Kennett’s world championship teammate Aaron Gate (4:26.260) will take on his good friend Myron Simpson (4:27.147) in an all Auckland battle for the bronze medal.
World individual pursuit bronze medallist Marc Ryan, who has been off his bike since his success in Cali, had to be content with the fifth fastest time.
Waikato’s Jaime Nielsen, the London Olympian, gets a chance to defend her title in the women’s 3000m individual pursuit after topping qualifiers.
She clocked 3:37.714 and will take on fellow Olympian Lauren Ellis (Hinds) in the gold medal ride while Georgia Williams (Auckland) meets Rushlee Buchanan (Te Awamutu) in the bronze medal battle.
The outstanding Canterbury prospect Olivia Podmore took out the under-19 title in the 250m time trial in 20.916 from Jaymie King (Waikato BOP) 21.639 and Eleanor Pepperell (Wellington) 21.841.
The under-19 men’s honours went to Eccles Lewis from Waikato Bay of Plenty in 18.547 ahead of Michael Culling (Southland) in 18786 and Sam Buchner (Canterbury) in 19.165.
Tonight’s first session of finals includes the individual pursuit and the women’s 500m time trial and men’s 1000m time trial featuring world championship medallist Simon van Velthooven.