Date: Friday, 02 March 2018


The New Zealand team are finding medals hard to come by following the second day of action at the UCI track cycling world championships in the Dutch city of Appeldoorn.

The highlight was the effort of Manawatu’s Jordan Castle, in his first world championships, who placed second in both his keirin races, the first round and the repechage, pipped in a sprint finish for a place in the semifinals.

The women’s team pursuit unit of Racquel Sheath, Rushlee Buchanan, Bryony Botha and Michaela Drummond were shut out of a place in the gold medal round by the strong USA combination in round one, with the Americans clocking 4.16.340. However the 4:25.384 time from the New Zealanders, who faded over the closing 2000m, meant they were only sixth fastest and missed out on a place in the bronze medal ride.

The men’s team pursuiters were already confirmed in fifth position.

The men’s keirin was a particularly tight competition with Sam Webster, Eddie Dawkins and Castle forced to repechages. With only the winner to advance, both Dawkins and Castle were pipped into second place and Webster was fourth, with none able to progress.

Nineteen-year-old Tom Sexton of Invercargill, also at his first world championships, placed 17th (of 23 starters) in the men’s scratch race. Like 20 of the riders, Sexton was lapped as winner Yauheni Karaliok (Belarus) set a furious pace.

Natasha Hansen and Emma Cumming both qualified for the match racing in the women’s sprint racing. Hansen qualified in 14th position in 11.088s and Cumming 23rd in 11.293.

Hansen beat off the first round challenge over Korea’s Hyejin Lee while Cumming went down to the 10th qualifier, Miriam Welte (Germany). However Hansen’s lower qualifying position drew her against the defending World and Olympic champion Kristina Vogel who managed to edge out the Kiwi in the second round.

“It has been a challenging day at the office for the team today. Our young riders have impressed so far, and today Jordan Castle rode strongly in the keirin,” says Martin Barras, Cycling New Zealand High Performance Director.

“It’s fair to say our team events across the board have been short of the level they had set and that their preparation had indicated.

“The team has some good chances remaining in the coming days.”

Tomorrow is qualifying in the men’s sprint for Ethan Mitchell, Dawkins and Webster; Buchanan competes in the omnium and Regan Gough in the points race, with the competition continuing until Sunday.

 Day 2 Results:

Women’s Team Pursuit, round 1: USA 4.16.340, 1; New Zealand (Racquel Sheath, Rushlee Buchanan, Bryony Botha, Michaela Drummond) 4.25.384, 2. Great Britain 4.19. 397, 1; Italy 4.20.647, 2. Canada 4.21.780, 1; Poland 4:32.169, 2. Germany 4.24.369, 1, France 4:27.273, 2.

Finals, Gold medal: USA 4:15.669, 1; Great Britain 4:16.980, 2.  Bronze medal: Italy 4:20.202, 3; Canada 4:23.216, 4; Germany 5, New Zealand 6, France 7, Poland 8.

Women’s Sprint, qualifying: Stephanie Morton (AUS) 10.645, 1; Pauline Grabosch (GER) 10.713, 2; Kristina Vogel (GER) 10.810, 3. Also NZers: Natasha Hansen 11.088, 14; Emma Cumming 11.293, 23.

Round 1: Miriam Welte (Germany) beat Cumming; Hansen beat Hyejin Lee (South Korea). Round 2: Vogel bt Natasha Hansen.

Quarterfinals: Morton bt Simona Krupeckaite (LTU) 2-0, Grabosch bt Shanne Braspennincx (NED) 2-0, Vogel bt Laurine van Riessen (NED) 2-0, Wai Sze Lee (HGK) 2-0.

Men’s Keirin first round: Heat 1: Sam Webster (New Zealand) 5; Heat 2: Eddie Dawkins (New Zealand) 4; Heat 6: Jordan Castle (New Zealand) 2. Repechage (winner to advance): Heat 3: Webster 3; Heat 4: Dawkins 2; Heat 6: Castle 2.

Final: Fabian Puertas Zapata (COL) 1, Tomoyuki Kawabata (JPN) 2, Maximilian Levy (GER) 3.

Men’s scratch race: Yauheni Karaliok (Belarus) 1, Michele Scartezzini (Italy) 2, Callum Scotson (Australia) 3. Also: Tom Sexton (New Zealand) 17.

CAPTION: Natasha Hansen in sprint qualifying; 

Photo courtesy Guy Swarbrick.

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