BikeNZ’s sprint cyclists have beaten world champions Germany in the team sprint at the German Grand Prix in Cottbus over the weekend with the Southland trio of Dawkins, Archibald and Beadle again all featuring.
They completed their European campaign on a high note with Sam Webster finishing runner-up in the sprint final and Eddie Dawkins second in the keirin.
The squad have further training in Europe before heading to Adelaide for three more events in the International track series from the 10-14 July. These events carry all-important qualifying points for the World Cup and World Championships.
BikeNZ High Performance Director, Mark Elliott said the squad had achieved the key outcomes.
“Firstly they achieved the qualifying points that we need for points and keirin for the UCI World Cup events starting late this year which are the vital qualifiers for the world championships which then leads to the 2016 Olympics,” Elliott said.
“They have found some outstanding form and have worked really hard under the direction of BikeNZ coaching and support staff.
“I am delighted with their continued progress and that they can finish off this campaign with further good form in Adelaide. We have qualifying points in the bag now but the Australians are pinning all their hopes on these three meets next week so we expect them to be firing on all cylinders.”
The combination of Ethan Mitchell, Webster and Dawkins was fastest in qualifying for the team sprint in 1:00.40, more than a second ahead of the host national team on the 333m outdoor track.
Matthew Archibald subbed for his Southland teammate Dawkins for the final where the BikeNZ trio clocked a superb 1:00.14 to claim the victory as the German combination, featuring one of the world championship trio, an Olympic medallist and national kilo champion, faltered.
Webster was the fastest of the Kiwis in qualifying in the men’s sprint headed by huge German sprinter Robert Forstemann in a world class 9.846. Webster clocked 10.042 with Dawkins fourth fastest in 10.090, Archibald 10.249, Simon van Velthooven 10.397, Mitchell 10.435 and Southland’s Tom Beadle 10.697.
Van Velthooven, Webster and Archibald won their first two rounds to the quarterfinals, where Archibald was the only one to miss out, going down to London Olympic medallist and four-time world champion Maximilian Levy (GER).
Forstemann accounted for van Velthooven in two straight rides in the semifinal while Webster was impressive in accounting for Levy 2-1.
However the strength of Forstemann proved too much in winning the final over Webster 3-0.
Archibald won the ride-off for fifth.
It completes an outstanding effort by Webster who finished third in the Cottbus Sprint Cup as well.
Dawkins and van Velthooven qualified directly with opening wins in the men’s keirin with the Southlander following up with an excellent win in the semifinal, while the Olympic medallist made a tactical error and missed out.
Dawkins was outstanding in the final, pushing clear but was rolled on the line by Levy while van Velthooven won the B Final to finish seventh.
This follows his excellent form in the Sprint Cup from Dawkins where he qualified in a superb 9.980s in the 200m sprint.
The triple Adelaide International track series meets run from 10 to 14 July.
CAPTION for photo one: From left, Ethan Mitchell (completing his lap), Matt Archibald and Sam Webster in the team sprint final in Germany.