More medals for cyclists on Glasgow track

NATHAN BURDON IN GLASGOW
Last updated 07:47 27/07/2014
LAWRENCE SMITH/stuff.co.nz

New Zealand wins gold and bronze in the men's points race.

Simon van Velthooven
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
NEED FOR SPEED: Track cyclist Simon van Velthooven, pictured, and Matt Archibald have won silver and bronze respectively in the final of the 1000m time trial.

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Matt Archibald and Simon van Velthooven were experiencing contrasting emotions as they prepared to climb the Commonwealth Games podium this morning.

Archibald was ecstatic after winning bronze in the 1000m time trial, an event he only began to focus on four months ago, while van Velthooven was ruing the fact he'd missed out on gold and had to ''settle'' for silver in one of his favoured events to Scott Sunderland.

The Australian defended the gold medal he won in Delhi four years ago and reclaimed the Games record which had been broken by Archibald just a handful of minutes before.

''It's a pretty big event for me, but it is what it is,'' van Velthooven said.

''My biggest work on has been the start, I went through the first lap in a PB, but just faded in the last half and that's where Scott - that's probably his strength because he's moved to team pursuit recently from sprinting.''

A regular on the podium at the world championship in the time trial, van Velthooven's preparation had been affected by a crash while racing in Japan in June which left him with hip and ankle issues.

A kidney problem later added to his frustrations.

''It's a good result from a bad buildup,'' he said.

Archibald was riding a competition ''kilo'' for just the second time and took six seconds off his personal best, setting a new Games record which stood for three heats until van Velthooven and Sunderland, who both went quicker, took to the track.

The former rower is a relative latecomer to track sprinting and has spent most of his time behind van Velthooven, Sam Webster, Eddie Dawkins and Ethan Mitchell.

'''I've been kind of in the background of the other boys, who are world class riders. It's pretty cool to be part of that team, but at the same time it's hard work. You have to fight for every time you get a ride. To get up there and be edged out by less than a 10th of a second, by someone like Simon, who is a world medallist, is huge.''

Archibald had been hoping for good things in Glasgow, but knew there are no certainties in sport.

''Last time I rode [the kilo]  was my first year riding in Invercargill and I don't think I even got into the sprinter's lane. A lot has changed since then. The coaches believed that I could get up for a medal so I focussed on this event and the individual sprint for the last four months - so a lot of hard work and I guess this is the result.''

There will be another chance for van Velthooven to win gold at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome when the keirin competition gets underway from 2.33am on Monday (NZ time).

A bronze medallist at the London Olympics when he famously deadheated for third place, van Velthooven will be joined by Webster and Dawkins.

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