Memorable UCI Junior Champs for New Zealand
New Zealand wrapped up their UCI Junior Track World Championships campaign with an impressive total of seven national records and 10 medals in Invercargill.
The 10-medal haul equalled their record number achieved in last year's world championships, with sold-out crowds packing the Stadium Southland Velodrome throughout the championships.
Waimate's Dylan Kennett and Hayden McCormick overcame a puncture and a heavy crash to claim a bronze medal in the final event of the championships, the Madison.
Often regarded as the most spectacular cycling event on the programme, the Madison is a 30km two-man points race with one rider in play at any time, with riders taking turns to slingshot each other hand-by-hand.
It was made hard for the Kiwi pair at the 40-lap mark, when Kennett suffered a flat tyre, and not long after returning to the track, he collided with an Australian and came crashing down hard.
"It wasn't the perfect ride and it definitely wasn't how we wanted it to go but you can't control what happens on the day and we walked off the track with nothing left so that's all we can do," said McCormick.
Kennett and McCormick then put in a huge effort to gain a lap on the field with four other teams through the middle of the race and secure a podium placing.
"After the crash I was running on adrenaline, but then conked out with about 30 laps to go and the pain started coming back, so I was lucky to have such a great partner to tow us around for the bronze," said Kennett.
"It's gutting for our last race to have such a bad run of events, especially as we probably went into it as favourites, but what more can you do."
Visibly hurt, Kennett had to be helped up onto the podium by one of the Colombian gold medallists in a heart-warming display of sportsmanship.
This bravery, coupled with a number of world-class performances has made the 2012 UCI Junior Track World Championships a memorable and successful event for the New Zealand team.
"The week's been amazing; frustrating at times and maybe with a bit of luck we could have had some world titles but overall you can definitely see that everyone who got on the track rode extremely well," said New Zealand coach Ross Machejefski.
"We weren't just making up the numbers across any event; it just so happens that some pretty amazing performances pipped us at times so full credit to those, but it also shows the field that came out here was quality.
"Our team was out there smashing New Zealand records and getting beaten, well that's a world championship."
Wanganui's Cassie Cameron and Georgina Wilson finished seventh and eighth respectively in the individual while Paige Paterson and Alysha keith were fifth and sixth in the final of the women's 500m time trial.
Southland's Jeremy Presbury was the best of the kiwis, just pipped for a medal finishing fourth in the men's keirin final.
Day 5 results:
Women's individual pursuit, qualifying: Kelsey Robson (AUS) 2:23.165, 1; Elinor Barker (GBR) 2:25.537, 2; Georgia Baker (AUS) 2:26.449, 3; Natalia Mozharova (RUS) 2:27.388, 4. Also: Cassie Cameron (NZL) 2:29.980, 7; Georgina Wilson (NZL) 2:31.354, 8. Bronze medal ride: Mozharova 2:26.768, 3; Baker 2:27.982, 4. Gold medal ride: Robson 2:23.574, 1; Barker 2:27.272, 2.
Women's 500m time trial: Daria Shmeleva (RUS) 34.753, 1 (World Record); Elis Ligtlee (NED) 35.625, 2; Lidia Pluzhnikova (RUS) 35.705, 3. Also: Paige Paterson (NZL) 36.029, 5; Alysha Keith (NZL) 36.091, 6.
Men's Keirin, first round qualifying (top two qualify): Heat 1: Jeremy Presbury (NZL) 1, Malek McCrone (MAS) 2, David Sojka (CZE) 3. Heat 2: Jakub Vyvoda (CZE) 1, Santiago Ramirez Morales (COL) 2, Emerson Harwood (AUS) 3. Heat 3: Tom Beadle (NZL) 1, Alexander Dubchenko (RUS) 2, Kwesi Browne (Trinidad & Tobago) 3. Heat 4: Jacob Schmid (AUS) 1, Alexey Lysenko (RUS) 2, Samuel Mahabir (TRI) 3. First round repechage, winner through: Heat 1: Joakim Albert (CAN) 1; Heat 2: Harwood 1. Heat 3: Edgar Verdugo (MEX) 1. Heat 4: Hiroto Shimizu (JPN) 1. Second round, Heat 1: Schmid 1, Presbury 2, Dubchenko 3. Heat 2: Harwood 1, Vyvoda 2, Verdugo 3. 5th-12th: Ramirez Morales 5, Beadle 6, McCrone 7. Final: Schmid 1, Harwood 2, Vyvoda 3. Also: Presbury 4.
Men's 30km Madison: Colombia (Fernando Gaviria Rendon, Jordan Parras Arias) 18 points, 1; Belgium (Jonas Rickaert, Otto Vergaerde) 15, 2; New Zealand (Dylan Kennett, Hayden McCormick) 6, 3.
Final medal tally: Australia 16 (9 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze); New Zealand 10 (7 silver, 3 bronze), Russia 9 (4 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze).
- The Southland Times