Date: Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Brad and Kye OceaniasThe Southland public showed how popular cycling still is, despite less high profile events being held in Invercargill.

Since the introduction of New Zealand's second indoor velodrome in Cambridge, the city hasn't seen as many top level cycling events recently.

The Oceania championships were held from Thursday to Sunday and attracted members of the public eager to see high calibre international cyclists.

Cycling Southland administration and communications officer Melissa Chilton was pleased with the crowds that attended the event.

"The crowd numbers were great, it was good to see the enthuasiasm, cheering and support. Many Yunca Junior Tour and ILT Track Carnival groups stayed on for the event, which was fantastic and exactly what we wanted to see happen. The day sessions were still a little light on numbers, but as qualifying events go we were still happy with the level of public interest," she said.

"It will always be a dream to have the venue at capacity for such fantastic events with such a high calibre of elite athletes at it, but overall a mighty fine attendance level," Chilton said.

The next Oceania championships will be held at the SIT Velodrome in Invercargill in four years time, with some events formerly held in the south, now being alternated with the Cambridge velodrome.

"After eight years of hosting all the national and international track events here in Invercargill, we are now able to share them with Cambridge, meaning the Oceanias will alternate between there and here, so we host it every four years now instead of every two, while every alternate year it is in Australia. It is the same with the track national championships where we host the age groups in March next year and Cambridge host the elite event, and it alternates," Chilton said.

Southland cyclists produced outstanding performances to win medals at the four-day Oceania championships in Invercargill.

In the elite men, Eddie Dawkins was part of the New Zealand sprint team that won the gold medal in 43.810 seconds early in the championships.  

Dawkins followed this up with a silver medal in the men's sprint where he was beaten by impressive Australian Matthew Glaetzer who had earlier broke a New Zealand all-comers record of 9.797 seconds in qualifying.

Nick Kergozou produced an inspired final lap to give him and team mate Cam Karwowski a win in the madison by a whisker over Australia.

Scores were so tight that the winner of the final sprint would win the event, and Kergozou's came from behind to win by a whisker, to give the local riders the gold medal.

It was an encouraging event for Kergozou who won a bronze medal in the men's omnium and was part of the winning New Zealand team pursuit combination with Luke Mudgway, Aaron Gate and Hayden Roulston.

Natasha Hansen produced some strong performances in quality fields to claim three silvers and a bronze medal in various sprint events.

The women's keirin was particularly intriguing with Hansen winning a silver medal behind Australia's Stephanie Morton and ahead of 2015 keirin world champion Anna Meares and the promising Kaarle McCulloch. 

Kirstie James also tasted success, winning a gold medal in the women's team pursuit and a silver medal in the women's omnium.

Promising 16-year-old Bradly Knipe showed he has a big future by claiming four gold medals, winning the under-19 men's sprint, team sprint, time trial and keirin events.  

Southern riders Ellesse Andrews and Emma Cumming produced some good performances over the competition, including teaming up to win the under-19 women's team sprint and a gold and silver medal finish in the under-19 women's scratch race.

Photo caption: Kye Bonser, left and Bradly Knipe at the Oceania Track Cycling Championships.

Article and photo courtesy Stuff

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