New Zealand's team pursuiters, featuring Southlanders Pieter Bulling, will ride for the bronze medal on the opening day of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Colombia.
The young Kiwi combination clocked a solid 4:02.065 to be fourth fastest in qualifying for the men’s 4000m team pursuit in Cali this afternoon (NZ time).
World champions Australia take on Denmark for the gold medal after the Danish combination, third at last year’s world championships, surprised as the fastest qualifiers.
Conditions were warm with just a light breeze for the opening session at the outdoor velodrome which is roofed but has open sides and subject to the weather after one training session was washed out with unseasonal rain.
The New Zealand team was pleased with the ride for their young combination comprising Pieter Bulling (Invercargill) 19, Dylan Kennett (Waimate) 20, Aaron Gate (Auckland) 23 and led by 31 year old veteran Marc Ryan (Timaru).
Conditions were not fast at Cali with no team able to go under the four minute barrier, Denmark leading the way on 4:00.176 from Australia on 4:01.516.
Russia just pipped New Zealand as the third fastest, with Olympic champions Great Britain, blooding a new combination, only managing the eighth fastest time from the 13 starters.
Also on the programme evening programme is the men’s team sprint.
Qualifying times, men 4000m team pursuit:
Denmark 4:00.176, 1; Australia 4:01.516, 2; Russia 4:01.615, 3; New Zealand 4:02.056, 4; Spain 4:02.648, 5; Switzerland 4:02.934, 6; Germany 4:04.230, 7; Great Britain 4:04.419, 8.