NZ On Track For Junior Track Cycling Worlds
NZ On Track For Junior Track Cycling Worlds After
For immediate release
12 August, 2012 - BikeNZ’s three junior world squad coaches are satisfied with where their charges are at, ten days out from the start of the UCI Juniors Track World Championships in Invercargill.
The full New Zealand squad was put through its paces on Saturday with a morning training session of race simulation followed by a night’s racing at Cycling Southland’s Junior Worlds Curtain-Raiser race night held at Invercargill’s Stadium Southland velodrome.
Coach Ross Machejefski says their aim was to simulate world championship race conditions as closely as possible this weekend. “It was the first time we’ve been able to do that and it was great to get rid of some nerves, go through the process of preparation and race processes and get a few kinks ironed out,” said Machejefski.
The Women’s Team Sprinters of Paige Paterson and Victoria Steel were only a tenth of a second outside the national Under-19 record, stopping the clock at 35.929, while fellow team member Kate Dunlevey teamed with 2011 Junior Worlds medalists Steph Mckenzie, who is now in the Elite racing ranks, to go two tenths of a second faster. Who will partner Paterson in the Team Sprint at worlds is looking as one of the closest selection calls.
The Men’s Team Sprint selection is confirmed however. The threesome of Invercargill’s Tom Beadle and Jeremy Presbury and Auckland’s Zac Williams went even closer to setting a new national mark. Their 47.104 was just 0.058 slower than the current NZ record set by the Auckland trio of James Vercoe and former junior world champions Sam Webster and Ethan Mitchell in 2009.
The Women’s Team Pursuit combination of Alysha Keith, Alexandra’s Sophie Williamson and Racquel Sheath also went close to recording a new low mark with a 3:36.067 while Cassie Cameron, who rode the Team Pursuit in the morning session, backed up to narrowly miss lowering her own national record in the Individual Pursuit, set at March’s Age Group Track Nationals.
The Men’s Team Pursuit featuring Alexandra’s Liam Aitcheson, Canterbury’s Dylan Kennett and Tayla Harrison and Te Awamutu’s Hayden McCormick raced over the shortened distance of 3000 metres to record a solid 3:10.652.
Machejefski says they won’t confirm final selections for the team events until late this week. “We’ve got some hard calls to make. Saturday showed we are on track against all squads and we’d hope for a few gains over the next 10 days.”
The squad also backed up to ride various bunch races throughout the night. Keith and Kennett took out the women’s and men’s invitational scratch races while Steel and Paterson claimed narrow sprint victories over Dunlevey and Mckenzie respectively and Beadle showed the keirin form which took him to the national title in March with a comfortable win in the final event of the packed programme.
New Zealand continues it’s preparations with daily training sessions at Stadium Southland Velodrome, which is open to the public this week. The squad will continue full training over the next three days before tapering from Wednesday where training will be focused on getting the technical things right, including gate starts and racing lines.
The 2012 UCI Juniors Track World Championships start on Wednesday 22 August and run until Sunday 26 August at Stadium Southland Velodrome in Invercargill with sessions daily at 12:30pm and 6:30pm. Tickets continue to sell strongly and are available from Stadium Southland or online at www.juniorworlds2012.com.