Southland cyclists Erin Criglington and Neil Familton are hoping for success as they prepare for the World Masters Track Cycling Championships in Manchester, England next month.
The pair have contrasting experience in the championships with Criglington attending her third meet, and she will be defending her two gold medals and a bronze from last year, while Familton will be participating in the event for the first time.
Criglington will be aiming to repeat her success from the 2014 World Masters Track Cycling Championships where she won gold medals in the Women's 40-44 year-old category in the individual pursuit and points race, along with a bronze medal in the team sprint.
She will be participating in several events including the pursuit, points, scratch, 500m time trial and sprint, and hopes to team up with Dutch rider Carolien Van Herrikhuyzen in the team sprint after they finished third last year.
"The last two years we have been really lucky, I have been the only kiwi lady there and she has been the only Dutch woman, so we paired up and got second two years ago when the team sprint wasn't a championship event and third last year when it was a championship event," she said.
Criglington's favourite event is the individual pursuit where she hopes to win the rainbow jersey again.
"I am the defending champion in the individual pursuit for my age bracket, after winning it twice, so I really want to successfully defend my jersey and win the title for the third time," she said.
The training has been getting more intense as the event approaches.
"We had a break in intensity after the national championships and got back into it six weeks after that, and 16 weeks out we started concentrating on the training programme again to build towards the event," she said.
Familton decided to have a crack at the world championships buildup after talking with a friend from Waikato.
Familton will be competing in the 55-59 year-old age group and will be riding in several different events.
"I'm going to ride the pursuit, points race and the scratch race, and hopefully some team events as well."
The cyclists have been training three nights a week at the Zero Fees velodrome, as well as road riding and racing.
"I am trying to replicate some of the racing and training that has worked over the years and had some good input from mentors, Glen Thomson and Doug Bath who have altered my programme and helped me prepare for the event," Familton said.
He is hoping to ride a personal best and to make a medal round.
"Hopefully riding a personal best will take me to higher honours," he said.
The World Masters Track Cycling Championships runs from the 3rd to 10th of October at the Manchester Velodrome.
Photo and article courtesy The Southland Times