Grand welcome home likely

Last updated 12:00 06/08/2012
New Zealand men's pursuit team
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IN ACTION: The pursuit team pursue a bronze medal at the London Olympics.

New Zealand men's pursuit team, with coach Tim Carswell yelling instructions at the London Olympics.
New Zealand men's pursuit team, with coach Tim Carswell yelling instructions at the London Olympics.

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Feilding's multiple Olympic medal-winning cyclist Jesse Sergent can expect another grand homecoming when he makes his way back to town.

The 24-year-old put in a huge performance as part of the men's pursuit team who made it back-to-back Olympic bronze medals on Saturday morning.

After he took the bronze in the same event in Beijing in 2008, Feilding rolled out the welcome mat for him. Feilding Promotion manager Helen Worboys said the same was likely to happen again.

"We've discussed it, but need to get some details about when he's getting back to Feilding.

"But we are definitely talking about it."

Former national coach Max Vertongen said Sergent was brilliant to watch.

"He's a machine, that boy. He's a different sort of rider, he's just so strong and fast."

If the individual pursuit had not been axed from the Games programme, Sergent had been a good chance of taking that out, Vertongen said.

"He's No 2 in the world from last year. He could have won that, or been right amongst it."

The most pleasing thing to see was how the team had closed the gap on the Australians, who took home the silver medal.

"When you look at the times for silver and bronze, there's bugger all between it," Vertongen said.

Rangitikei MP and avid cyclist Ian McKelvie said the medal winner was "something special".

"For our area, the Manawatu or Rangitikei, to have a cyclist of the class of him is pretty special. We pride ourselves as . . . being a strong cycling region and this gives us a lot to talk about.

"Feilding can be pretty proud of him."

Mr McKelvie said Sergent's growth since Beijing had been great to watch.

"Last time he was just a boy, but he's now like the senior citizen of the team."

He said he had met Sergent a few times and was impressed by his manner.

"He's exceptional as a person and has never been a show-off."

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- Manawatu Standard


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