Date: Friday, 02 December 2016

Promising New Zealand track cyclist Bradly Knipe is working on his skills both on and off the bike in the lead up to the Oceania track cycling championships in Melbourne next week.

The 17-year-old, who is in his first year in the elite ranks, has already represented New Zealand at World Cup events in Scotland and The Netherlands.

His Invercargill-based coach Karl Watson said the pair had not just been looking at results, but also ways to improve Knipe as a person and a rider, including his time management skills.

"We've got a press up policy at the moment, if he is not 10 minutes early for something, he has to do the minute in press ups, but if he's on time, I have to do 10 press ups," Watson said.

The policy has been working, with the coach getting extra fit and the 2016 Southland secondary schools senior boys' sportsperson of the year increasingly punctual.

The new-look Kiwi trio of Zac Williams, Simon Van Velthooven and Bradly Knipe finished 10th in Glasgow and 12th in Apeldoorn as they failed to qualify for the first round.

Despite their placings, there were some encouraging signs from their 45.047secs and 45.469s times.

Third-wheel-rider Knipe recorded the second best final leg time of anyone in the Scotland meet, and the fastest at The Netherlands event.

The teenager also entered the individual sprint in Apeldoorn and qualified 27th for the first round, where he was defeated by Jair Tjon En Fa from Suriname.

"He went pretty good actually," Watson said.

"In the second one his time was very good as well, he was actually the fastest third wheel rider in the whole competition."

"But it is a little bit tricky because he sort of had an easier run through than the other guys, because he was saving his energy, he was the fastest third wheel, but it wasn't as fast as what it sounds like."

The junior track cycling world championships gold medallist has enjoyed representing his country overseas.

"The number one thing we try to work on at the moment is to enjoy everything, every step and also looking at the process, rather than the results," Watson said.

"It takes a bit of pressure off, it just means he has to do what he is doing and do it well."

According to Watson, there is a huge jump for Knipe from competing at under-19 level to stepping into the saddle against elite riders.

"He's still a boy racing against big men, so it is a big step up," he said.

Knipe will compete in the sprint events at the Oceania champs in Melbourne, starting on Wednesday.

"His aim at the Oceanias is just to learn and develop as a person and a rider at the moment," Watson said.

"He will get a lot of racing and a lot of experience, it will be good."

The former SBHS student is a recent graduate of Academy Southland, where he won the year two award for performance and commitment. 

Knipe will return to Southland after the champs and link up with Watson through to the NZ track cycling championships in February.

At a glance

What: Oceania Track Cycling Championships

Where: Melbourne

When: December 7 to 10

Article and photo courtesy Stuff


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