Stewarts on verge of cycling's elite
The cycling genes are strong in Palmerston North siblings Kate and Campbell Stewart.
Kate is off to the junior world championships in South Korea next month and Campbell is going to the Oceania championships in Adelaide in October.
Also in the 13-strong junior worlds team from Manawatu are Jordan Castle and Luke Mudgway.
Kate is at a BikeNZ camp at the Cambridge velodrome until the end of the month and is likely to ride the sprint events at Seoul.
"Medals are the goal for everyone in the team, but then the main idea of it is development for the elite," Kate said. "Obviously we want to come home with a gold medal and the rainbow jersey."
A Palmerston North Girls' High School student, she is about to turn 18 and in her last year at under-19 level before moving up to elite.
She said her training times had been fast and the BikeNZ coaches were happy with how her training had been going.
The track in Seoul is different - it's made of concrete instead of wood and is 333m long instead of 250m - which could change racing tactics. It is at the Gwangmyeong Velodrome, which can hold 30,000 people and is the largest domed structure ever built in South Korea.
At the BikeNZ camps, Kate was star-struck sharing a gym with Silver Ferns netballer Leana de Bruin. Kate will see how she's feeling after the worlds to decide if she'll go to the Oceania championships.
Campbell has the New Zealand championships in Cambridge before he goes to Adelaide.
The 16-year-old Palmerston North Boys' High School student has won every under-17 title on the track and road in the past two years.
An all-rounder at the moment, he excels at the sprint and endurance events but is leaning towards specialising in endurance.
The Oceania and national championships will be selection for next year's junior worlds in Kazakhstan.
With two gun cyclists in the family, they ride against each other a bit, but Campbell said they were used to competing against each other.
"He gets me a bit more easily now," Kate said. "It's more about motivating each other; it's quite good. He sometimes kicks me off the couch."
Ashhurst's Jordan Castle will be racing the team sprint, but might be riding the keirin and the kilo time trial.
"I'll do whatever," the 18-year-old said.
"Any racing will be awesome; it's on the world stage."
Castle was sick with glandular fever for six weeks earlier in the year but is healthy again and raring to go to Korea.
"This is pretty big, it's the pinnacle of junior track cycling. Basically after this you go to elite."
Castle has been setting good times leading up to the event.