Date: Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Promising Southland cyclist Bradly Knipe is looking to continue Southland's proud tradition in the sprint events.

Following in the footsteps of Rio-bound Southlander Eddie Dawkins, 17-year-old Knipe will be hoping for success in his debut at the Junior World Track Cycling Championships in Switzerland.

The Southland Boys' High School student will participate in the 1km time trial, keirin and sprints as part of the 12-strong New Zealand team.

"I've been on track in my preparation for the worlds, doing some pretty solid times and feeling confident on the bike," he said.

He is hoping that his preparation will hold him in good stead to achieve some personal best times at the five-day event.

"I'm going to do my best and execute my races the best I can, which will hopefully produce some PB times and that's all I can really ask for," Knipe said.

Knipe will be in contention in his events after a stellar year.

He claimed four gold medals in the under-19 section at the Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Invercargill late last year, while more recently he has achieved some excellent results in the International Track Series in Australia.

The Karl Watson coach rider secured some podium finishes in lead up events featuring Australia's top cyclist across the Tasman.

Knipe was also a finalist in the junior sportsperson of the year category at the ILT Sport Southland awards, which was eventually won by New Zealand team-mate Emma Cumming, who is coached by Watson too.

There will be five southern cyclists at the world championships, with Knipe and Cumming joined by one-time New Zealand World Cup elite rider Tom Sexton, along with Central Otago riders Nicole Shields and Ellesse Andrews who both also represent Southland.

The team sprint and points races will be decided on Thursday morning (NZ time).

New Zealand team:

Female: Emma Cumming (Invercargill), Michaela Drummond (Palmerston North), Emily Shearman (Palmerston North), Nicole Shields (Alexandra), Kate Smith (Christchurch), Ellesse Andrews (Wanaka).

Male: Connor Brown (Auckland), Jared Gray (Hamilton), Bradly Knipe (Invercargill), Josh Scott (Christchurch), Tom Sexton (Invercargill), Campbell Stewart (Palmerston North).

 Article and photo courtesy Stuff

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