The new Olympic event of the omnium produced some close racing on the penultimate morning qualifying at the Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Invercargill today.
World omnium silver medallist Shane Archbold shares the lead with BikeNZ teammate Wes Gough on six points with kiwis Marc Ryan and Jason Allen sharing third place on nine points after two of the six events at the ILT Velodrome.
There’s a three-way tie in the women’s competition between New Zealand’s Joanne Kiesanowski and Australians Ashlee Ankudinoff and Amy Cure all on four points.
Archbold (Timaru) made a strong start with a personal best to finish fastest in the Flying Lap. Archbold clocked 13.192, which was 0.1s inside his previous best. There were also personal bests for his fellow BikeNZ teammates Cam Karwowski (13.289), Wes Gough (13.349) and Myron Simpson (13.538). Best of the Australians is Edward Bissaker in 13.51, fourth fastest overall with Scott Law in 13.593.
A super-confident Ryan was impressive in taking out the men’s omnium points race, with the telling move coming mid-race when he got away in a break with Allen which lapped the field and put him into the controlling position.
His BikeNZ pursuit team-mate Wes Gough also impressed in winning five sprints but Ryan’s lap proved the difference.
Ankudinoff led after the Flying Lap with a time of 14.423, with Kiesanowski second fastest in 14.795, which is a new personal best for the US-based professional.
Cure dominated the points race, getting away in a break to put a lap on the field mid-race which set her up for the win.
While there were plenty of attacks, the race was dominated by the leading candidates – Cure, flying lap winner Ankudinoff, and Kiesanowski.
Kiesanowski, who rides for Team TIBCO on the roads in USA, showed plenty of nous as always to position herself prominently to finish second on points (20) behind Cure (35) with Ankudinoff (18).
Manawatu’s Simon Van Velthooven showed superb form to win the first semifinal of the men’s keirin in outstanding fashion. Van Velthooven jumped from the outside lane to sit in behind the motorbike, and he controlled the race over the final two and a half laps to win, going 10.27s for the final 200m. Australians Andrew Taylor and Dan Ellis were second and third to go through to tonight’s final.
In the second semifinal it was more good news for New Zealand with Invercargill’s Eddie Dawkins claiming the win over Peter Lewis and top Australian Scott Sunderland. Dawkins hit the front a lap out and went clear, as Mitchell Bullen, Alex Bird and James Glasspool all came down in a spectacular crash behind.