Date: Monday, 19 July 2021

The Avantidrome in Cambridge played host to a record 118 riders over the weekend as young athletes from around the country took to the track in the second round of the National Track Series.

The series, in its fourth year, aims to develop riders on and off the track with a series of educational workshops rounding out the weekend timetable. However, it’s not only the riders who benefit from the series, with coaches encouraged to share their experiences and knowledge providing opportunities to grow their understanding.

A Drug Free Sport New Zealand workshop opened the event, educating the riders about the importance of the ‘food first’ approach. Racing kicked off with Waikato BOP Hub rider Liam Cavanagh taking out the Standing 250m Time Trial while endurance riders had the opportunity to hone their skills in a Madison workshop.

High Performance Athlete Development Lead Graeme Hunn was impressed by the quality of racing over the weekend.

"It was very heartening to see the quality of sprint competition growing and really encouraging that the depth of fields are at their strongest since the events inception four years ago.

To see athletes in the High Performance Programme using the event to round out their Olympic prep is pretty cool and shows that the quality of racing has improved massively, with many of these development riders on the path to success.”

An impromptu power cut saw riders undeterred as they channelled their competitive streak into skills-based games in the infield. Eager to take part in the fun, coaches and commissaires alike donned their helmets and put their skills to the test.

Under-19 national champions took the events of the weekend in their stride with Upper South Performance Hub riders Amelia Sykes and Jenna Borthwick closing out the weekend in 1st and 2nd for Women’s A grade respectively while fellow riders Rhylee Akeroyd and Seana Gray shared 3rd place.  Grassroots Trust Waikato BOP Performance Hub rider Jack Carswell kept his cool finishing the weekend in 1st place for Men’s A grade joined by fellow Waikato rider Oliver Watson-Palmer (2nd) and Barfoot & Thompsons Auckland Performance Hub rider Joel Douglas (3rd).

Grassroots Trust Waikato BOP Performance Hub Rider Lily Cawood took the weekend’s honours for the Women’s Sprint division.

Nelson sprinter Kaio Lart impressed on and off the track, taking out 1st in the men’s sprint division and introducing a new award to the event. The Rider’s Choice award, introduced by Lart, gives riders the chance to nominate one of their peers that they feel is living the values of the National Track Series. Sponsored by Don’t Stop Pedalling, Lart presented the first Rider’s Choice award to Jaxson Whyte. Whyte was joined by fellow living the values recipients Millie Wright, Charlie Tinoai, Pearl Harris-Blain and Mikaela Macdonald.

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