New Zealand sprinters Eddie Dawkins and Katie Schofield grabbed three medals between them to highlight the opening night of finals at the Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Adelaide.
Amid scorching conditions in Adelaide last night (NZ time), Schofield partnered London Olympian Natasha Hansen to win the team sprint. The Otago rider then finished second to Olympic medallist Kaarle McCulloch in the 500m time trial.
Dawkins dominated the field to win the men's 1000m time trial, finishing more than two seconds clear of fellow Southlander Cam Karwowski, and establishing a personal best in the process.
The highlight for the endurance riders came in the last race of the night, when a superb team effort led to victory for Waimate's Dylan Kennett in the 15km scratch race.
Te Awamutu rider Hayden McCormick pushed to the front with nine laps remaining while Kennett and Bulling latched on behind.
The big Waikato rider produced a powerful display of time trialling to remain in front until two laps remaining before Kennett took over. He pushed clear to claim the win with Bulling holding off world junior omnium champion Caleb Ewan (AUS) for second.
It proved a relatively quiet opening night for the BikeNZ contingent in what is the start of their summer campaign, targeting the national championships in February that will play a key part in selection for the international season.
Schofield and Hansen topped qualifiers and improved in the evening final to record 34.450, close to their best time, to beat home Australians Rikki Belder and Stephanie Morton who clocked 34.622.
Schofield clocked a classy 35.342 in the 500m time trial with the Australian winning in 34.260.Southland's former triple junior world championship medallist Steph McKenzie was third in 35.562.
"It's a solid start to the season for Katie and it was also good to see Steph McKenzie back to good form at this early stage of the season," said BikeNZ sprint coach Justin Grace.
Dawkins, only back into full training four weeks ago, reeled off a world class time to win the men's 1000m in 1:01.363.
His time has only been bettered by national record holder Simon Van Velthooven.
"It means that regardless of the time I've had off you can always come back and come back stronger," Dawkins said.
"I've cut down on the socialising and the late night feeding to stick to a diet and keep away from the pub.
"Everyone puts on a bit after time off but I am coming down slowly and surely and happy where I am at.
"I feel like I am going really good. I hope to be able to bring a lot more to the team and then move on to the World Cup early next year and on to the world champs and I know the competition will be there to make those teams."
The other medal performance went Christchurch's Alice Hay took out the junior women's scratch race. She chased home New South Wales' Josie Talbot in a sprint finish but the Australian was relegated for not holding her line in the sprint.
The championships continue until Saturday.
Day 1 finals results:
Team Sprint: Australia (Alex Bird, Peter Lewis, Matthew Glaetzer) 44.066, 1; New Zealand (Eathan Mitchell, Matt Archibald, Sam Webster) 44.451, 2; NSW, 44.851, 3.
3000m team pursuit: Australia 4:02.106, 1; New Zealand (Scott Creighton, Dylan Kennett, Hayden McCormick, Pieter Bulling) 4:10.324, 2.
1000m time trial: Eddie Dawkins (NZL0 1:01.363, 1; Cameron Karwowski (NZL) 1:03.670, 2; Matt Dodds (Southland) 1:05.360, 3.
Scratch race 15km: Dylan Kennett (NZL) 1, Pieter Bulling (NZL) 2, Caleb Ewan (NZL) 3.
Team Sprint: New Zealand (N Hansen, K Schofield) 34.450, 1; Australia (R Belder, S Morton) 34.622, 2.
3000m team pursuit: Australia (Ashlee Ankudinoff, Annette Edmondson, Isabella King) 3:23.812, 1; New Zealand (Georgia Williams, Gemma Dudley, Alysha Keith) 3:33.100, 2; Australia B 3:27.595, 3; New Zealand Junior (Holly Edmondston, Alice Hay, Laura Heywood) 4:05.600, 4.
500m time trial: Kaarle McCulloch (AUS) 34.260, 1; Katie Schofield (NZL) 35.342, 2; Steph McKenzie (NZL) 35.562, 3.
Scratch race 10km: Ashley Ankudinoff (AUS) 1, Isabella King (AUS) 2, Annette Edmondson(AUS) 3.
Men 3000m individual pursuit: Jack Edwards (AUS) 3:10.250, 1; Zac Shaw (AUS) 2, Callum Scotson (AUS) 3, Joshua Harrison (AUS) 4.
Men team sprint: Australia (Jai Angsuthasawit, Pat Constable, Alexander Radzikiewicz) 46.669, 1; New Zealand (Quinn Karwowski, Jeremy Presbury, Callum Saunders) 47.649, 2.
Women's scratch race 7.5km: Alice Hay (NZL) 1; Samantha Fromentin (AUS) 2, Ruby Greig-Hurtig (AUS) 3.
- © Fairfax NZ News