The New Zealand men’s team pursuit will ride off against Olympic champions Great Britain for the bronze medal on the opening night of finals at the UCI World Cup in Mexico.
New Zealand rode the fourth best time in qualifying of 3:57.757, the fastest recorded so far by the new, young combination.
Australia led the way in 3:55.261 ahead of Denmark, Great Britain and New Zealand, with only half a second separating the Kiwis from a gold medal ride.
Meanwhile, the team sprint of Dawkins, Archibald and Mitchell, struggled to eighth place and will miss out on the evening ride for medals. With the advantage of altitude at Aguascalientes, the in-form German combination broke the world record to record an astonishing 41.871. Their time was well inside the previous record of 42.600 set by their opponents in the evening final, Great Britain in winning the Olympic gold medal. Australia meets Netherlands for the bronze.
New Zealand were unable to produce their usual slick combination despite the flying start from Ethan Mitchell while in-form sprinter Eddie Dawkins struggled as a result of his training crash, unable to produce his usual final leg heroics.
Men Team Pursuit qualifying: Australia 3:55.261, 1; Denmark 3:57.229, 2; Great Britain 3:57.386, 3; New Zealand (Dylan Kennett, Pieter Bulling, Aaron Gate, Marc Ryan) 3:57.757, 4.
Men Team Sprint: Germany 41.871, 1 (World Record); Great Britain 42.339, 2; Australia 42.995, 3; Netherlands 42.995, 4. Also: New Zealand 43.242.8.