Record not enough for pursuit medal race

MARK GEENTY IN LONDON
Last updated 05:00 04/08/2012

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A New Zealand record time wasn't enough to propel the women's cycling pursuit team into Olympic medal contention today.

The team of Alison Shanks, Lauren Ellis and Jaime Nielsen tumbled out of the medal race after riding 3min 18.514sec in the first round, which lopped 1.6sec of their previous best set in Invercargill last year.

New Zealand, who qualified fifth fastest yesterday with a disappointing 3.20.421, needed to ride faster than the two losing teams in the top-four, Australia and Canada, to book a spot in the bronze medal ride.

But both were superior; Australia riding 3.16.953 in losing to the United States (3.16.853) and Canada clocking 3.17.454 in losing to the dominant Great Britain team who rode another world record of 3.14.682.

It means New Zealand will ride off for fifth against the Netherlands.

New Zealand sprinter Eddie Dawkins also bowed out after losing his repechage.

Having been ranked ninth of 17 riders in qualifying, Dawkins lost his first round contest against Nicholas Phillip of Trinidad and Tobago, the in the repechage couldn't pick up Hersony Canelon of Venezuela.

New Zealand's Shane Archbold has made a strong start to the Olympic cycling omnium, finishing second in the first event, the flying lap.

Archbold clocked a time of 13.112sec for the 250m, a fraction outside his personal best and second only to Great Britain's Edward Clancy who recorded 12.556 at the Olympic velodrome. Australia's Glenn O'Shea, the world champion, recorded 13.222 to be third fastest.

The six-discipline omnium stretches over two days, with riders awarded points depending on finish order in each event. Archbold's next event is the 30km points race at 4am NZ time, and the elimination event at 5.25am completes day one of cycling's version of the decathlon.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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