New Zealand cyclist Aaron Gate had to settle for fourth place in defence of his omnium title on the penultimate day of the UCI Track Cycling World in Colombia.
Fourth overnight, Gate won the 4000m individual pursuit in 4:23.698 to move up to third, but reverted to fourth after finishing seventh in the scratch race.
The Auckland rider clocked 1:03.655 in the final 1000m time trial, which was fifth fastest, but not enough to move him on to the podium, finishing just two points off the bronze medal.
New Zealand remained on five medals, equal with their best achieved in Melbourne two years ago, with one day remaining in the championship.
“Aaron had an excellent second day, winning the individual pursuit and solid in the other two rides,” said BikeNZ coach Dayle Cheatley.
“The team pursuit was our top priority at present and Aaron is a key component of that and our bronze medal. He was probably not as fresh as some of the riders who only focussed on the omnium but his overall performance was excellent.”
Frenchman Thomas Boudat (FRA) took out the overall omnium title on 24 points from Dutchman Tim Veldt 28, with Russia’s Viktor Manakov third on 32, two points ahead of Gate.
Earlier in the day both Sam Webster and Matt Archibald qualified in the men’s sprint, both riders going under the magical 10 second barrier. Webster was ninth fastest in 9.933s and Archibald, replacing an injured Eddie Dawkins, was 12th fastest in 9.989s.
However both went out in the first round of the elimination rounds, and with no repechage in the round of 16 at a world championship, their campaign was ended.
“Both guys were excellent in qualifying and showed they were world class by going under the 10 second mark,” said Cheatley. “We now need to develop our skills in match racing to take advantage of the raw speed they are developing.
“This is a very young squad and racing nous will come with more international quality racing experience.”
The only New Zealand riders to feature in tomorrow’s final day of competition will be points race silver medallist Tom Scully and Shane Archbold who will pair up in the spectacular Madison.
Sprint qualifying: Francois Pervis (FRA) 9.742, 1; Stefan Botticher (GER) 9.790, 2; Robert Forstermann (GER) 9.852, 3. Also: Sam Webster (NZL) 9.933, 9; Matt Archibald (NZL) 9.989, 12.
Round 1: Nikita Shurshin (RUS) bt Webster, Juan Peralta (ESP) bt Archibald.
Omnium, day 2:
4000m individual pursuit: Aaron Gate (NZL) 4:23.698, 1; Casper Von Folsach (DEN) 4:25.107, 2; Juan Arango (COL) 4:25.669, 3.
Scratch race: Edward Clancy (GBR) 1, Thomas Boudat (FRA) 2, Tim Veldt (NED) 3. Also: Gate 7.
1000m time trial: Clancy 1:01.691, 1; Veldt 1:03.134, 2; Boudat 1:03.396, 3. Also: Gate 1:03.655, 5.
Final points: Boudat 24, 1; Veldt 28, 2; Manakov 32, 3; Gate 34, 4; Clancy 35, 5.
CAPTION: Aaron Gate in action on the way to his win in the individual pursuit, part of the six-event omnium;
Photo courtesy: Guy Swarbrick