Chance for Kiwis to put icing on the cake

New Zealand will get one more shot at having its best world track cycling championships yet when Tom Scully and Shane Archibald line up in the 50km madison today.

The BikeNZ team have won five medals so far in Cali - team sprint gold, Scully's silver in the points race on Saturday and bronze medals in the team pursuit, 1000m time trial (Simon van Velthooven) and individual pursuit (Mark Ryan) - equalling the record set in Melbourne two years ago.

Sprinters Sam Webster and Matt Archibald were knocked out in the first round of the elimination and won't be involved in today's finals.

Both riders went under the magical 10sec barrier in qualifying yesterday.Webster was ninth fastest in 9.933sec and Archibald, replacing an injured Eddie Dawkins, was 12th fastest in 9.989sec.

The focus then fell on defending omnium champion Aaron Gate to see whether he could force his way on to the podium after sitting fourth-equal overnight.

He climbed to third overall with victory in the individual pursuit, but a seventh in the 15km scratch race saw him drop to fourth heading into the final event, the 1000m time trial.

A fifth placing in the time trial meant he was unable to get back on to the podium, with Thomas Boudat winning France's first world omnium title.

"Aaron had an excellent second day, winning the individual pursuit and [was] solid in the other two rides," BikeNZ coach Dayle Cheatley said.

"The team pursuit was our top priority at present and Aaron was a key component of that and our bronze medal. He was probably not as fresh as some of the riders who only focussed on the omnium, but his overall performance was excellent."

On Saturday, Scully completed an amazing comeback from a potentially career-ending race crash in Ireland four years ago when he rode his way to silver in the men's 40km points race.

Scully, who only returned to the BikeNZ track programme in December, was the strongest rider in the race but couldn't get away from Colombian Edwin Avila Vanegas in the closing stages of the race.

Simon van Velthooven set aside the disappointment of being disqualified from the keirin to win a third straight world championships medal with bronze in the 1000m time trial.

The big Kiwi recorded a blistering 14.6sec final lap to finish in 1:00.518, faster than his previous world championship best last year.

Meanwhile, Southland's Cameron Karwowski (H&J's Outdoor World Team) won the elite men's 159km race in Saturday's opening round of the Benchmark Homes Elite Cycling Series in Oxford, North Canterbury.

After team-mate Matthew Zenovich and his breakaway companion Reon Nolan (Scotty Browns Racing) were caught with 18km to go it was a frantic run to the finishline which saw Scott Mullaly (TotalPOS Cycling Team) attack heading into the final corner, just being pulled in and passed by Karwowski in the final metres.

Karwowski won in 3hr and 46min, with Brad Evans (Team Calder Stewart Racing) finishing second then holding on to win in 3hr and 25min, one minute 1min 45sec ahead of Reta Trotman (Cycle World Fairweathers), Tracy Clark (Vidasana Thule) and Georgia Catterick (Cycle World Fairweathers) who won the under-19 classification.

The Southland Times