Date: Thursday, 01 October 2015
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Shane PerkinsSouthlanders will get a unique chance to see some of the best track cyclists in the world when the Oceania track championships get underway at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome in Invercargill next week.

Invercargill last hosted the elite national championships in 2013 and the Oceania championships last year, but Cycling Southland development officer Bruce Ross was urging Southlanders to come down to the velodrome to see some of the best riders in the world in action.

"It's not very often that you get to watch an athlete the calibre of Anna Meares live . She's a once-in-a-generation type rider. There will also be some of the best riders Southland has produced riding for New Zealand and we might not get another chance to see them before they are representing us at the Rio Olympics."

Meares has won 11 world titles and 25 world championship medals over a 12-year international career.

The 31-year-old current keirin world champion is a headline act amongst an impressive Australia sprint cast which includes double world champion and London Olympic medallist Shane Perkins, Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallists Matthew Glazer, Scott Sunderland and Stephanie Morton and Olympic medallist Kaarle McCulloch.

There's no shortage of storylines amongst the New Zealand contingent either, especially with Hayden Roulston making a much anticipated return to the boards to try and book a place for the Rio Olympics.

Roulston, a former Olympic medallist, is no stranger to Invercargill having won the Tour of Southland four times from 2006 to 2010.

Invercargill's Eddie Dawkins will line up in New Zealand's men's sprint team, the same combination which was cruelly relegated to second place for a technicality at this year's world championships.

Fellow Southland representatives Cam Karwowski, Nick Kergozou, Natasha Hansen and Kirstie James will feature in New Zealand's black skin suit.

Winners in some events during the championships will earn direct entry to next year's world championships.

The opening night of the championships promises plenty of furious action with the men's team sprint and team pursuit, the men's 1000m time trial and women's 500m time trial, and scratch races for women (10km) and men (15km) all to be contested.

The event will run through from October 8 to 11.

Photo courtesy Bryn Lennon, article coutesy Stuff

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