Southlander Tom Scully was among the New Zealand cyclists who grabbed a further two medals on the third day of finals at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Colombia today.
Simon van Velthooven earned his third straight medal in the 1000m time trial while Southland’s Tom Scully rode brilliantly to win the silver medal in the 40km points race.
It brought New Zealand’s tally to five medals, which equals their best total of five medals at Melbourne in 2012 and more than the four medals won at Copenhagen in 2010 and Apeldoorn in 2011.
Van Velthooven tried not to let his disqualification in yesterday’s keirin affect his approach to today’s kilo.
“They are two completely different competitions, like chalk and cheese,” van Velthooven said. “I was not angry just frustrated yesterday that such a small infraction cost disqualification. Today I tried as hard as I could and left it all out there.”
Van Velthooven, who was the second to last to ride, was just 13th fastest after the first of four laps and still nearly half a second off the then leader, Joachim Eilers (GER) going into the final lap.
The big Kiwi recorded a blistering 14.6s final lap to finish in 1:00.518, faster than his previous world championship best last year and good enough for the bronze medal.
Multi-world champion Francois Pervis (FRA), who won the keirin yesterday, claimed a second title winning with the final ride in 59..385s.
“The last lap is my strength,” said van Velthooven. “I could hear the crowd cheer and I went harder and really put the foot down. That world title still eludes me but there are not many 25 year olds who have three world medals in the Kilo.”
He will now refocus on the national championships in Cambridge in two weeks.
“If the crowds turn up and create a great atmosphere then I am sure the riders will put on a good show.”
Scully only returned to the track in December after fighting back from serious injury and reigniting his road career in the UK. He finished runner-up in the points race in the final world cup to earn selection to the world championship team.
Today he rode brilliantly in an entertaining race with a plethora of attacks and laps gained. Scully gained two laps on the field and settled in a battle with Colombian Edwin Avila Vanegas for the victory. With the field marking the Kiwi heavily, he settled for sprint points, with Scully needing to win the final sprint to beat the Colombian but he finished second to come up just short of a rainbow jersey.
“The gold medal would have been well earned but regardless it was a superb job by Scully,” said BikeNZ head coach Dayle Cheatley. “He rode out of his skin tonight and capped off another good day.
“The camp is in good spirits and that is a result of the hard yards they put in to this campaign early on.”
Meanwhile Aaron Gate is in a share of fourth place after the first day of the omnium, bouncing back from ninth in the flying lap and 10th in the points race to finish runner up in the elimination.
He is just three points off a podium, despite still feeling the effects of a gruelling team pursuit competition on the opening day.
Tomorrow Sam Webster and Matt Archibald, who replaces an injured Eddie Dawkins, compete in the sprint qualifying and Gate completes the second day of the omnium.
The championships finish on Monday (NZ time).
Men 1000m time trial: Francois Pervis (FRA) 59.385, 1; Joachim Eilers (GER) 59.984, 2; Simon van Velthooven (NZL) 1:00.518, 3.
Omnium, day 1, Flying Lap: Ed Clancy (GBR) 12.808, 1; Tim Veldt (NED) 13.183, 2; Luke Davison (AUS) 13.187, 3. Also: Aaron Gate (NZL) 13.438, 9.
Points: Thomas Foudat (FRA) 35 points, 1; Unal Elorriqaga (ESP) 34, 2; Casper Von Folsach (DEN) 33, 3. Also: Gate 9, 10.
Elimination: Boudat 1, Gate 2, Viktor Manakov (RUS) 3.
Points after day 1: Boudat 12, 1; Manakov 15, 2; Veldt 18, 3; Gate 21, 4.
Men’s 40km points: Edwin Avila Vanegas (COL) 70, 1; Tom Scully (NZL) 66, 2; Eloy Rovira (ESP) 58, 3.
CAPTION: Tom Scully leads the field in the points race.