Mixed fortunes for Kiwi cyclists
New Zealand had mixed fortunes on the second day of the world track cycling championships in Cali, Colombia.
Timaru's Marc Ryan won his second medal of the championships, a blistering final kilometre in the 4000m individual pursuit helping him hold off a furious challenge from young Irishman Ryan Mullen, while Olympic bronze medallist Simon van Velthooven was disqualified in the second round of the keirin.
Ryan was part of the bronze medal-winning team pursuit on Thursday and felt he could have done even better in the individual pursuit.
"With the changing conditions here, and I have not done any specific training for the individual pursuit, I was unsure of where I stood this morning, so took the qualifying a little conservatively. So I am a bit disappointed at not getting to the gold medal ride," he said.
"That said I am really pleased to have an individual event medal at the world championships. I knew I had to start faster tonight and put some pressure on and I knew I would crack him, which happened in the final kilo."
Olympic bronze medallist van Velthooven was ejected from his second round heat after narrowly edging past the back of the motorbike being used for the keirin.
Sprint coach Anthony Peden admitted after the highs of New Zealand striking team sprint gold on Thursday, van Velthooven's disqualification was a huge disappointment.
"The keirin can be a lottery, but that said I didn't agree with the decision. I think there's an inconsistency and a harshness in the penalty. By overlapping the back wheel of the motorbike it is an automatic disqualification – no warning or even a relegation," Peden said.
"The final for seventh to 12th place had three riders in it – that's not doing the sport too much good. Simon took the decision very well and very professionally."
Dylan Kennett backed up from his bronze medal in the New Zealand team pursuit with a seventh placing in the 15km scratch race and Shane Archbold (Timaru) finished eighth in qualification for the men's individual pursuit in a time of 4min 23.709sec.
Eddie Dawkins was eliminated in the first round of the keirin after picking up a mild groin strain as a result of his efforts in winning the team sprint world title, but is expected to be fit for the sprint competition.
Auckland's Aaron Gate begins the defence of his world omnium title with the flying lap, points race and elimination race today.
Also returning to the track will be van Velthooven, who will be in the medal hunt in the men's 1000m time trial.
The 25-year-old landed a bronze in the 2012 world championships and silver in the 2013 edition and will be hoping to go one better and climb the top of the podium in Cali.
Southland's Tom Scully makes his first appearance in the men's points race.
The Southland Times