Cycling New Zealand has blooded some of its young development riders, including several Southlanders, into the cauldron of the UCI World Cup competitions in Manchester and Poland.
They return home with the Vantage New Zealand Elite Team for next week’s Oceania Championships in Cambridge much stronger for the World Cup experience.
Head sprint coach Anthony Peden said it has been a baptism of fire with the Europeans at full strength for both events, with the Manchester event completed today.
“We felt this was the right time to blood them against the best in the world,” Peden said.
“All the Europeans had their top combinations here as they prepare for their Continental Championship. Our young riders will come back with a clearer understanding of where the bar is set when we step up their training load going forward.
“It will help them understand where the world is and I believe it will be a huge help to their development. They have responded really well over the two World Cups.”
There were a number of top-10 performances from the young riders, with Peden giving his experienced world champion pairing of Eddie Dawkins and Ethan Mitchell the day off on the final day as they prepare for the all-important Oceania Track Championships that start in Cambridge on Monday 20 November.
Today Zac Williams was 10th fastest in the 1000m time trial won by Australian Matthew Glaetzer, while Emma Cumming was ninth fastest in the women, both just missing out on the top-eight for the final.
Cumming was 20th and Olivia Podmore 23rd in qualifying for the women’s sprint in 11.308s and 11.385s respectively, both beaten in the first round of match racing.
Podmore went on to finish 10th overall in the keirin, winning her repechage but just missing out on the main final after placing fourth in the semifinal.
Earlier Podmore and Cumming combined to be 10th in the team sprint in 33.923s for the 500m.
Jordan Castle mirrored the efforts of Podmore in the men’s keirin. He won his repechage but also was just one spot out from earning a place in the main final, going on to place third in the 7-12th race, giving him ninth placing overall.
Multi junior world champion Campbell Stewart finished 10th in the Omnium competition, boosted with an excellent second placing in the points race behind overall winner Benjamin Thomas from France.
Campbell combined with former junior world championship medallist Tom Sexton to be 13th in the Madison, with Sexton impressive in finishing fifth in the scratch race on the opening day.
Dawkins (9.718) and Mitchell (9.734) impressed to qualify fifth and sixth respectively in the sprint although both went out in the second round of match racing on day two.
Earlier in the meet the youthful men’s trio of Castle, Bradly Knipe and Zac Williams were timed at 44.549s in the men’s team sprint qualifying to be 12th fastest overall, with Knipe lowering his personal best again for the opening lap.
Men, 1000m Time Trial qualifying: Matthew Glaetzer (AUS) 59.970, 1; Callum Skinner (GBR) 1:00:868, 2; Ayrton De Pauw (BEL) 1:00.871, 3. Also: Zac Williams (NZL) 1:01.902, 10.
Men Omnium: Benjamin Thomas (FRA) 151, 1; Niklas Larsen (DEN) 140, 2; Albert Torres Barcelo (ESP) 125, 3. Also: Campbell Stewart (NZL) 84, 10.
Men Madison: Denmark 46 points, 1; France 46, 2; Poland 37, 3. Also: New Zealand (Campbell Stewart, Tom Sexton) 1, 13.
Men Sprint Qualifying: Harrie Lavreysen (NED) 9.646, 1; Sebastien Vigier (FRA) 9.649, 2; Matthew Glaetzer (AUS) 9.674, 3. Also: Eddie Dawkins (NZL) 9.718, 5; Ethan Mitchell (NZL) 9.734, 6.
Women 500m Time Trial Qualifying: Miriam Welte (GER) 33.565, 1; Daria Shimeleva (RUS) 33.566, 2; Olena Starikova (UKR) 33.842, 3. Also: Emma Cumming (NZL) 34.575, 9.
Women Sprint Qualifying: Kristina Vogel (GER) 10.651, 1; Laurine van Riessen (NED) 10.850, 2; Anastasiia Voinova (10.858), 3. Also: Emma Cumming 11.308, 20; Olivia Podmore 11.385, 23.
Women team sprint qualifying: Germany 32.604, 1; Russia 33.268, 2; Netherlands 33.319, 3. Also New Zealand (Emma Cumming, Olivia Podmore) 33.923, 10.
Men team sprint qualifying: Netherlands 42.967, 1; Great Britain 43.341, 2; Germany 43.363, 3. Also: New Zealand (Bradly Knipe, Jordan Castle, Zac Williams) 44.549, 12.
Men scratch race 15km: Nikita Panassenko (KAZ) 1, Jonathan Mould (WAL) 2, Wim Stroetinga (NED) 3. Also: Tom Sexton (NZL) 5.
CAPTION: Eddie Dawkins in sprint qualifying at the UCI Track World Cup in Manchester.
Image courtesy Guy Swarbrick.