Kennett set for cycling stardom
Waimate's Dylan Kennett has been a star for the New Zealand team at the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships.
In Invercargill the 17-year-old collected three silver medals and a bronze over the five days of competition.
While the coveted rainbow jersey and world title has proved elusive, Kennett showed he will be someone to watch once he hits the elite ranks.
New Zealand wrapped up their campaign with an impressive total of seven national records and 10 medals, seven silver and three bronzes, and Kennett had a decent hand in four of them at the Stadium Southland Velodrome.
Yesterday Kennett and Hayden McCormick overcame a puncture and a heavy crash to claim a bronze medal in the final event of the championships, the madison.
The madison is a 30km two-man points race with one rider in play at any time, with riders taking turns to slingshot each other hand-by-hand.
It was made hard for the Kiwi pair at the 40-lap mark, when Kennett suffered a flat tyre, and not long after returning to the track, he collided with an Australian and came crashing down hard.
They then put in a huge effort to gain a lap on the field with four other teams through the middle of the race and secure a podium placing.
Kennett said after the crash he was running on adrenaline.
"But then I conked out with about 30 laps to go and the pain started coming back, so I was lucky to have such a great partner to tow us around for the bronze.
“It's gutting for our last race to have such a bad run of events, especially as we probably went into it as favourites, but what more can you do.”
Visibly hurt, Kennett had to be helped up on to the podium by one of the Colombian gold medallists in a heart-warming display of sportsmanship.
New Zealand coach Ross Machejefski said the week had been "amazing; frustrating at times and maybe with a bit of luck we could have had some world titles, but overall you can definitely see that everyone who got on the track rode extremely well".
The weekends medals added to the silver in the team pursuit and kilo.
- The Timaru Herald