Date: Monday, 25 July 2016

Knipe (Southland) edged rival Conor Rowley (Australia) on the line in the deciding third race to claim the gold medal in the individual sprint in the final event on the final day of the championships at the UCI Velodrome in Aigle.

His rainbow jersey win followed silver medals to Michaela Drummond in the women’s omnium and to Campbell Stewart and Tom Sexton in the Madison.

This brought the New Zealand tally to nine medals which lifted the team to the top of the medal table at the championships.

While New Zealand won 10 medals at Moscow in 2010 and at Invercargill in 2012, the four gold medals was the most achieved in the 40 years they have competed at the junior world championships.

“The results have been quite outstanding,” said head coach Jon Andrews. “It is a testament to their hard work and dedication in preparation, their execution on the track and the tremendous team culture.

“I can’t say enough about the work of our coaches and staff, and the incredible support from a large contingent of family who have travelled to Switzerland.”

Knipe was in imperious form in the men’s sprint competition. The top qualifier dispatched Poland’s Daniel Rochna in two straight rides in the quarterfinal, and then his compatriot Mateusz Milek by the same margin in the semifinal.

The young Kiwi took on Australian Conor Rowley, the keirin world champion, in the final. After a dominant first race to the Knipe, the Australian hit back in the second race to send the contest to a decider.

Knipe again remained behind the Australian but drew level on the final bend and had enough speed to edge him on the line to claim the gold medal.

Drummond (Manawatu) lay in third place overnight in the omnium competition, and finished fourth in the 500m time trial and a top three in the flying lap. She showed her skill and ability in the pivotal points race to overtake Canadian Maggie Coles-Lyster to claim the silver medal.

Italy’s Elisa Balsamo proved the standout, with the European champion claiming the gold medal with 209 points from Drummond on 196 and Coles-Lyster on 192.

It was the second medal for Drummond at the championships after a silver medal in the team pursuit.

The individual star was brilliant Manawatu prospect Campbell Stewart who teamed with Southland’s Tom Sexton to win the silver medal in the men’s Madison, the spectacular two-person points race competition.

They were pipped by the home nation Switzerland who managed to put two laps on the field, while the Kiwis were one of three to gain one lap. Stewart and Sexton were the most impressive in accumulating points, winning three of the seven sprints, to secure the silver medal ahead of Australia.

Stewart became the most successful New Zealand rider in the junior world championships. After winning two gold medals at Kazahkstan last year, the 17 year old won world titles as part of the men’s team pursuit and omnium to give him four rainbow jerseys, one better than the previous best of three by Rio Olympian Sam Webster.

His overall tally of five medals is second only to another Rio Olympian in Regan Gough, who won six medals including two golds in 2013 and 2014.

In other rides Emma Cumming was 11th and Ellesse Andrews 13th in the keirin competition won by Sara Kankovsa (CZE).

CAPTIONS: Michaela Drummond on the podium; Bradly Knipe edges Conor Rowley in the gold medal decider, while Campbell Stewart and Tom Sexton in action in the Madison on the final day of the UCI Juniors Track Cycling World Championships in Switzerland.

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