Date: Friday, 22 January 2016

Spectators could be excused for thinking they are seeing double at the New Year Track Cycling Carnival in Invercargill starting on Friday night.

They have only been track cycling for 10 months, but identical twins Natalie and Tyla Green will be two riders to watch in the two night programme at the SIT Velodrome.

The 13-year-olds will be racing in the under-15 category as they prepare for the New Zealand age group championships in March.  

"We will be riding in all of the events," Tyla said.

"We only race in four, the time trial is two laps, derby is three, scratch is usually four and points race which is 12." 

The dynamic duo prefers the track to the road at this stage, and have raced in the Southland championships and carnival meetings before, with their fair share of success.

"We have won a few," Natalie said.

Older twin by five minutes Natalie prefers the longer races, while Tyla is more of a sprint ace.

"I usually beat her," Natalie said

"Unless it is a sprint race," Tyla said.

The pair remain tight lipped on their prospects at this weekend's carnival.

"It is hard to tell," Tyla said.

"We don't know who is going to be here, so we will take it as it comes."

The two identical Southland Girls' High School Year 9 students could create widespread confusion, but to quash those problems they wear different coloured socks. 

"Our socks are the key, I always wear yellow ones and she always wears pink ones," Tyla said.

"They are pretty good around here at sussing us out."

They have avoided the temptation to use their identical appearance for their own gain in life so far.

"We have never done it," Natalie said.

"We thought about it, but thought it might be a bit mean."

Despite being relatively new to the sport, the Green twins are getting assistance from Southland development coach Gerald Paterson with a training programme to help them improve.  

They have one more year in the under-15 age category before moving up to the under-17 age group, where Sid Cumming will take over their development.

One hundred cyclists are expected to race in the ILT New Year Track Carnival.

The meeting provides riders with the ideal opportunity to prepare for upcoming national events.

"There are the elite and under-19 track cycling nationals in Cambridge next month and the age group track nationals here in March, where we will be defending the National Points Shield," Cycling Southland communications officer Melissa Chilton said.

There are several different categories including elite and open, along with age categories ranging from under-17 to under-13.

At a glance

What: ILT New Year Track Carnival

When: Friday 22 and Saturday 23 January from 6pm

Where: SIT Zero Fees Velodrome

Cost: Spectators: Adults $10, children (under 15) free

 Article and photo courtesy Stuff

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