Invercargill's Pieter Bulling has received a late callup to the New Zealand track team for next week's Oceania Championships in Adelaide.
Bulling has been included following the decision to leave fellow Southlander Tom Scully at home after a change in Olympic qualification policy by the sport's world body. With Olympic qualification points now to be collected by countries rather than individual riders, BikeNZ were able to leave Scully – who was this week confirmed in the Slipstream development road team for next season – behind to concentrate on his comeback from knee surgery.
Stu McDonald, who will be head coach of the New Zealand team in the absence of Tim Carswell, said it was in Scully's best interests to have a break following the Tour of Southland.
"It wouldn't really have been fair to throw him back into international competition after the break that he's had," McDonald said.
Bulling has reportedly been producing outstanding times in the buildup to the Oceania Championships, which run from November 24 to 27, giving the selectors a quality option to replace Scully. The teenager was ruled out of riding in the Tour of Southland because of his age. He will contest the junior events in Adelaide but could also be called up to the elite senior ranks.
The change in qualification policy has also meant the New Zealand team will be without Commonwealth Games riders Marc Ryan and Wes Gough, and the teams pursuit lineup for the Oceania event is likely to have a markedly different look to it, although McDonald said selectors would have to wait until after the omnium before firming up the team.
Southland will have a strong contingent in Adelaide, including Cycling Southland development coach Matt Archibald who is pushing his claim for a place in the New Zealand team sprint lineup.
Sequoia Cooper, Cameron Karwowksi and Eddie Dawkins have been named in the New Zealand elite team, while Tom Beadle is in the New Zealand junior team.
Natasha Hansen, who is based in Invercargill, will represent New Zealand in the women's sprint and could continue on to ride for New Zealand at the Melbourne World Cup if her form is considered good enough, while Dale Tye will represent Southland in the individual pursuit.
Story courtesy of Natan Burdon and the Southland Times