Date: Friday, 03 October 2014
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Eddie OceasEddie Dawkins hopes to add a pair of world records to his collection of medals before contesting the Rio Olympics.

The 25-year-old anchor of the world champion team sprint talked about his speed goals before flying out to the Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Adelaide, starting next week.

Dawkins set the fastest time ever by a Kiwi in New Zealand in the flying 200m at the Avantidrome last month, finishing in 9.876 seconds.

It lowered his previous record set in Invercargill last year, and came despite a lack of race sharpness at the start of the season.

''That was just a wee spur of the moment sort of thing, have a play and see what happens,'' Dawkins said of his record time.

''I had a wee play with a random gear, and the mechanics said it was big, so I had to ride it up early. I went out there and it was going to go one of two ways, either really fast or really slow, and it turned out to be fast.''

It was a gear Dawkins doesn't plan to use again, at least not at sea level.

He said the only time he would use a gear that big would be when racing at high altitude, likely at the Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico.

That's where the world record time of 9.347sec was set last year by Frenchman Francois Pervis.

''He runs 9.8 seconds and 9.9 seconds at sea level, so that shows how much of a difference the altitude makes. That's the only track you can really break the record at.

''The world champs were going to be there this year, but got changed to Paris, so hopefully there is a World Cup there the following year to have a crack at the record.

''I'm pretty sure I can go lower before Rio. I've just got to keep working on my power and my speed and I think I can do it.''

In the meantime, he also hopes to help break the team sprint record of 41.871sec, set by German trio Rene Enders, Robert Forstemann and Joachim Eilers at the same track last year.

''It's only a matter of time before we beat that,'' Dawkins said.

''We've gone really close before, and we're only two tenths behind the sea level record, so we'll crack that before long.''

Dawkins is so intent on setting world records that he said he would take a cycling trip to Aguascalientes if the World Cup circuit doesn't head there in the 2015-16 season.

What's scary is that Dawkins, Sam Webster and Ethan Mitchell are still toddlers in track cycling terms, and probably won't peak until closer to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The trio will only be in their late 20s and early 30s at that event, with years of training and competing together.

It's something Dawkins is well aware of, and could lead the Kiwi team sprint to world domination for years to come.

''Because of our age we have huge long-term goals. We had Glasgow, now it's Rio, then the Gold Coast Comm Games, and then Tokyo. We want to win them all, and all the world championships in between.''

Dawkins and the 41-strong New Zealand track team fly out to Adelaide this week for Oceanias.

Dawkins wants to win the team sprint there, while also making the sprint final and claiming a medal in the Keirin. If he makes the sprint final, he expects it to be against Kiwi team-mate Webster.

''We have good battles. It comes down to the day, really, who can win. Hopefully I can make the final and then edge him for gold.''

The Oceania champs start on Thursday next week, running through to Sunday.

Article courtesy Waikato Times

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