Date: Monday, 11 December 2017


The women’s team pursuit and men’s madison recorded victories while Natasha Hansen broke her own national record on the second day of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Chile.

The women’s team pursuit mbination, who took out the silver medal last week and a season best 4:22.310 in Canada, bettered that by a significant margin in winning the final at the Penalolen Velodrome in Santiago.

The combination of Rushlee Buchanan, Kirstie James, Bryony Botha and Racquel Sheath rode a controlled 4:25.989 to better Ukraine and earn a place in the gold medal ride in the first round in the morning.

The Vantage Elite riders stepped up significantly in the final to win in a new best for this team of 4:17.804, which was only 0.2s outside the national record set at the Rio Olympics.

Down by a second after the  first 1000m, the Kiwis then took control, ahead by half a second at the midway point and then storming away to win by nearly two seconds from Italy.

It moves New Zealand to fourth in the World Cup standings after competing in just two of the four World Cup meets.

The teenage pairing of Campbell Stewart and Tom Sexton, who claimed the silver medal in the madison last week in Canada, went one better with a dominant display to win today. They took out the men’s 30km madison with 32 points, scoring on 10 of the 12 sprints and having the event won before the final double-points sprint.

Earlier Hansen was the second fastest in qualifying for the women’s individual sprint with her 10.840s effort clipping 3/100ths of a second off her own national record.

She progressed comfortably through to the semifinals without dropping a race, but was edged out by former world junior champion Daria Shmeleva (RUS) in a deciding third ride. After winning the first race well, she was pipped by 18/1000th and 14/1000ths of a second respectively in the second and third races.

Hansen lost the battle for the bronze medal to top qualifier Hyejin Lee of Korea in two straight rides.

Michaela Drummond finished ninth overall in the women’s omnium, placing eighth in the scratch race, 12th in the tempo and elimination races and fourth in the points race.

Tomorrow’s final day see’s New Zealand in the semifinal of the men’s team pursuit, the men’s omnium, women’s keirin and women’s madison.

Day 2 results:

Women sprint, qualifying: Hyejin Lee (KOR) 10.810, 1; Natasha Hansen (NZL) 10.840, 2 (NZ Record); Daria Shmeleva (RUS) 10.873, 3. Also: Emma Cumming (NZL) 11.028, 10.

Sprint Round 1: Hansen bt Amelia Walsh (CAN), Madalyn Godby (USA) bt Cumming. Quarterfinal: Hansen bt Godby 2-0. Semifinal: Hansen lost to Shmeleva 2-1, Liubov Basova (UKR) bt Lee 2-0. Gold medal: Basova bt Schmeleva 2-0. Bronze medal: Lee bt Hansen 2-0.

Women 4000m team pursuit, round 1: New Zealand (Rushlee Buchannan, Kirstie James, Bryony Botha, Racquel Sheath) 4:25.989 bt Ukraine. Italy 4:24.857 bt Japan. China 4:28.084 bt Germany.

Gold medal: New Zealand 4:17.804, 1; Italy 4:19.415, 2; Bronze medal: Japan 4:28.615, 3; China 4:33.310, 4.

Women omnium, overall: Yumi Kajijara (JPN) 129 points, 1; Elisa Balsamo (ITA) 128, 2; Tetyana Klimchenko (UKR) 119, 3. Also: Michaela Drummond (NZL) 73, 9.

Men madison: New Zealand (Campbell Stewart, Tom Sexton) 32 points, 1; Italy 25, 2; Austria 20, 3.

CAPTION: Tom Sexton and Campbell Stewart in action heading for the gold medal in the men's madison at the UCI World Cup in Santiago, Chile.

Photo courtesy Guy Swarbrick

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