Date: Thursday, 27 November 2014
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Cam Karwowski 2014New Zealand's top track cyclists will be looking to step up a gear when they compete in the second of three UCI World Cups in London next week.

The 16-strong team is virtually unchanged as the riders look to progress across the board in the Olympic events of team sprint, team pursuit, omnium, sprint and keirin over a shorter two and a half day programme from 5 to 7 December in London, although Southland Cam Karwowski is moving into the team pursuit at this event.

It is the first major international cycling event in the velodrome used for the 2012 London Olympics and will be the venue for the 2016 World Championships.

The newcomer in the squad sees the return of Auckland rider Myron Simpson, who will join the team pursuit with an injured Marc Ryan and Dylan Kennett unavailable for selection.

The 24 year old last rode for New Zealand at the world cup in Beijing in January, although the last two years have been punctuated by serious injuries that have sidelined him.

"It's great to be back in the team. I always had in my mind that if I continued to work hard that I might get an opportunity and now it is a matter of taking my chance," Simpson said.

Simpson, who has ridden for Australian team Budget Forklifts in the last two years, regained some track form at the national championships earlier this year.

"I knew I was not quite at the level to make it in to the team and went away to enjoy a road season but got the call two weeks ago to come to this camp. I've worked hard since then and looking forward to doing my best for the team."

His good friend Aaron Gate, both coached by Simon Finnell, will compete in the omnium in London to gain qualifying points for the world championships.

Southland's Cam Karwowski, who was 11th on debut in the omnium at the world cup last month, will move to the team pursuit to be joined by Simpson, Westley Gough and Pieter Bulling.

The rest of the team is unchanged from Mexico last month with the impressive form from the four male sprinters in Mexico meaning there is still no place for Olympic keirin medallist Simon van Velthooven.

Head coach Dayle Cheatley looking for progression across the board.

"We made a solid start to the campaign and we are looking to step up across all of our squads to complete this current block of training," Cheatley said.

"We are looking for continued progression of performance through to the world championships and of course we need to get as many qualifying points to secure places for the world championships and also towards the Rio Olympics."

The team leave for London on Saturday.

The squad is:

Men endurance: Aaron Gate (Auckland), Westley Gough (Waipukurau), Cameron Karwowski (Invercargill), Pieter Bulling (Invercargill), Myron Simpson (Auckland).

Men sprint: Eddie Dawkins (Invercargill), Ethan Mitchell (Auckland), Sam Webster (Auckland), Matthew Archibald (Invercargill).

Women endurance: Lauren Ellis (Hinds), Jaime Nielsen (Cambridge), Rushlee Buchannan (Te Awamutu), Racquel Sheath (Te Awamutu), Georgia Williams (Auckland).

Women sprint: Stephanie McKenzie (Invercargill), Katie Schofield (Dunedin).


CAPTION: Cameron Karwowski, pictured during the omnium competition in Mexico, moves into the team pursuit for the London World Cup. 

Photo courtesy Guy Swarbrick

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