New Zealand sprinter Eddie Dawkins battled pain and an injured hand to finish fourth in the men’s sprint at the UCI track cycling world cup in Mexico yesterday.
On Friday Dawkins, who crashed heavily in training, took his place in the team sprint to ensure they met their qualification obligations for the world championships. Had the team been forced to scratch, then New Zealand faced being ruled ineligible for February’s world championships.
They finished eighth with Dawkins clearly struggling on third wheel with his heavily bruised backside and his hand skinned from the fall.
With a further day to recover, Dawkins came out firing on all cylinders to be 12th fastest in qualifying for the 200m sprint in 9.668, bettering the fastest time by a New Zealander of 9.907s that he set at the recent Oceania Championship.
Dawkins them produced a superb piece of tactical riding and speed to beat Germany’s Robert Forstemann, the world cup sprint winner at Manchester last month, in the first round of elimination racing.
He then disposed of Olympic medallist Maximilian Levy (Germany) in two straight rides in the quarterfinal before he was beaten by London gold medallist Jason Kenny in the semifinals in two photo finishes, and had to ultimately settle for fourth.
Dawkins achieved this without being able to grip strongly with his injured hand.
“It was pretty unexpected in qualifying because I was riding pretty much one-handed I was a little bit squiggly in the corners. But it was no mean feat to ride 9.6 in that field when all but two qualifiers went under 10 seconds,” Dawkins said.
His win over Forstermann was a real boost.
“It is always good to beat the big man. He puts out a lot of comment on social media that he was going to set world records and win, so it was a great scalp.
“I ended up making some small mistakes mostly because I struggled to grip the bike. At the end of the day my body has definitely had enough. I am looking forward to a break to get healthy. It has been three crashes in 30 days so I would like to stay upright for at least a month.
“I think we have strong chances for medals at the world championships in the team sprint and I think several of us have chances in individual events as well.”
In other racing Timaru’s Shane Archbold finished a solid eighth in the men’s omnium, won by Australian Luke Davison, who impressed in winning the Oceania title last month.
Today Archbold was 10th in the individual pursuit, 13th in the scratch race and fifth in the 1000m time trial.
Waimate teenager Dylan Kennett placed an impressive fourth place in the men’s 15km points race, won by Owain Doull from Great Britain who put a lap on the field.
Riders took full effects of the 10,000ft altitude at Aquascalientes with Frenchman Francois Pervis breaking the world record in the men’s sprint clocking 9.347 seconds while Australian great Anna Meares became the first woman to go under the 33 second barrier in the 500m time trial.
The World Cup finishes tomorrow.
Day 2 results:
Men sprint qualifying: Francois Pervis (FRA) 9.347, 1; Matthew Glaetzer (AUS) 9.459, 2; Pavel Kelemen (CZE) 9.558, 3. Also Eddie Dawkins 9.668, 12; Matt Archibald 9.681 14; Sam Webster 9.802, 26; Simon van Velthooven 9.830, 31.
Round 1: Pavel bt Archibald, Dawkins bt Robert Forstemann (GER).
Quarterfinals: Jason Kenny (GBR) bt Pervis 2-0, Glaetzer bt Njisane Phillip (TRI) 2-0, Kelemen bt Michael D’Almeida (FRA) 2-0, Dawkins bt Maximilian Levy (GER) 2-0.
Semifinals: Kenny bt Dawkins 2-0, Gleatzer bt Kelemen 2-0.
Final: Glaetzer bt Kenny 2-0. Third-fourth: Kelemen bt Dawkins 2-0.
B Quarterfinals: Hersony Canelon (VEN) bt Archibald.
Men omnium, individual pursuit: Artyon Zakharov (KAZ) 4:19.939, 1; Sebastian Mora (ESP) 4:20.000, 2; Tim Veldt (NED) 4:21.4222, 3; Also Shane Archbold (NZL) 4:28.543, 10.
Scratch race: Eiya Hasimoto (JPN) 1, Chun Leung (HKG) 2, Thomas Boudat (FRA) 3. Also: Archbold 13.
Time trial: Ed Clancy (GBR) 1:00.908, 1; Veldt 1:01.739, 2; Jasper De Buyst (BEL) 1:02.325, 3. Also Archbold 1:02.898, 5.
Final points: Luke Davison (AUS) 32, 1; De Buyst (BEL) 34, 2; Zakharov 36, 3. Also: Archbold 49, 8.
Scratch race 15km: Owain Doull (GBR) 1, King Cheung (HKG) 2, Roman Lutsyshyn (UKR) 3. Also: Dylan Kennett (NZL) 4.