A group of Southland riders are among young New Zealand track cyclists who will get to take on Australia in an exciting new annual trans Tasman clash, Cycling New Zealand announced today.
The national bodies have worked to develop an annual three day international competition that both believe will provide the best means to nurture their emerging talent, with Australia the best performed nation in the world in recent times at junior level.
As a result both countries are sending smaller numbers of targetted riders to this year’s UCI Juniors World Track Championships to be held in Kazakhstan in August.
“The costs to get to Astana are really prohibitive and challenging, with Australia having voiced the same sentiments to us,” said Cycling New Zealand High Performance Director, Mark Elliott.
“The result of those discussions is that when world championships are located at remote destinations, then both Australia and New Zealand will send smaller teams of targetted riders capable of reaching the top of the podium.
“At the same time this new venture with Australia will give a much better opportunity to develop our younger riders against arguably the strongest cycling nation at this age.”
Accordingly Cycling New Zealand will send a seven-strong team to the world championships in Astana, Kazakhstan in August, while 16 riders will compete in the new ANZAC Cup under-19 competition in Adelaide in May. The riders will compete in two UCI Olympic qualifying events as well as the ANZAC Cup Test.
The team to compete in the world championship will comprise a women’s team sprint and team pursuit and men’s omnium rider.
Canterbury’s Olivia Podmore and Southland’s Emma Cumming, both stars of the recent national championships, will combine in the team sprint and individual sprint events, while brilliant Palmerston North prospect, Campbell Stewart will contest the omnium.
The experienced combination of Aucklanders Holly White, Bryony Bothan and Madeleine Park along with Palmerston North’s Michaela Drumming will ride the team pursuit and other bunch races in Astana.
“We will be going to Astana with a firm focus on the podium,” said national junior coach Ross Machejefski.
“Three of the team competed last year in Korea, where Bryony and Holly both won medals and Bryony has also competed at an elite World Cup in January.
“Campbell is an exciting young rider who had won numerous national titles on the road and track and impressed us as an omnium rider with potential.”
A men’s team sprint and team pursuit group has been added to the world championship group to contest the ANZAC Cup.
Taupo’s Lewis Eccles, who also competed in the January World Cup, has opted to join the New Zealand sprint squad for a prolonged training and competition phase in USA this year rather than compete at the junior world championships.
“We believe this is a better opportunity to develop his skills riding and training every day with our elite riders and under national coach Anthony Peden.”
The team for the ANZAC Cup and UCI competitions in Australia on 27-31 May is:
Sprint: Olivia Podmore (Christchurch), Emma Cumming (Invercargill), Liam Brown (Palmerston North), Hamish Beadle (Invercargill), Bradly Knipe (Invercargill).
Men’s Endurance: Connor Brown (Auckland), Tom Sexton (Invercargill), Campbell Stewart (Palmerston North), Lachie McGregor (Dunedin), Max Jones (Christchurch), Hugo Jones (Christchurch).
Women’s Endurance: Holly White (Auckland), Bryony Botha (Auckland), Madeleine Park (Auckland), Michaela Drummond (Palmerston North), Rose Marshall-Lee (Christchurch).
The team for the world championships in Astana, Kazakhstan on 19-23 August:
Sprint: Olivia Podmore, Emma Cumming
Women’s Endurance: Holly White, Bryony Botha, Madeleine Park, Michaela Drummond
Men’s Endurance: Campbell Stewart