Aug. 21, 2012 (Invercargill, NZ ) – Here’s a report and results from this afternoon’s men’s and women’s Team Pursuit Qualifications as the 2012 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships get underway in New Zealand, 16 hours ahead, on Aug. 22-26. Today’s evening session includes the Team Sprints where Canada’s women have an outside shout at a medal round ride.
New Zealand and Australia dominated the opening qualifying session of the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships in Invercargill to set up trans-tasman showdowns in both the men’s and women’s team pursuit gold medal rides tonight (local time).
The New Zealand men’s pursuit team averaged 58kmph on their way to upsetting defending world champions Australian to post the quickest time in qualifying of 4:08:125.
“The timing we did was pretty much on the mark of what we wanted to ride. The boys thought they could ride a 4:08 if they executed a good start and they did that, as well as some big laps through the middle from Dylan Kennett which got us over the line on top,” said New Zealand coach Ross Machejefski.
The four Kiwi riders of Waimate’s Dylan Kennett, Alexandra’s Liam Aitcheson, Te Awamutu’s Hayden McCormick and Christchurch’s Hamish Schreurs were buoyed on by a vocal home crowd.
“I don’t like my chances of calling and being heard over the crowd. The home crowd will give the boys another five or ten percent so we’ll see how we go,” said Machejefski.
Defending champions and world record holders Australia were second fastest in 4:08:468. Russia and Ukraine will do battle for the bronze.
The three-pronged Australian women’s team, which includes two members of last year’s world champion combination, were fastest in qualifying for the 3000m team pursuit in 3:29:509.
The trio of Tasmania’s Georgia Baker, Taylah Jennings from Queensland, and Western Australia’s Kelsey Robson were more than a second faster than New Zealand, to set up another trans-tasman final tonight.
“We were in a good position where we could see all the other teams qualify before us, so we knew what time we had to beat to make the final. From there the goal was to get the girls through to the final as best as possible and at the same time save some energy for the final,” said Australian coach Gene Baker.
“I think the girls have the capability of going even quicker. It always takes the first ride to get their changes right and settle in to the track.”
The New Zealand team of Cassie Cameron from Wanganui, Otago’s Alysha Keith and Racquel Sheath from Auckland set the second fastest time of 3:30:719.
“We wanted to get off with a good start and set the right tone so hopefully tonight we can get the right colour, but it’s great to be guaranteed two medals already on day one,” said Machejefski.
Great Britain, who set the pace until they were pipped by just 0.1 second by the kiwis, will meet Russia for bronze medal ride. Also on tonight’s programme is the men’s and women’s team sprint.
Women’s 3,000m Qualifications
1. Australia 3:29.509
2. New Zealand 3:30.719
3. Great Britain 3:30.841
4. Russia 3:34.662
5. Mexico 3:52.356
Men’s 4000m Qualifications
1. New Zealand 4:08.125
2. Australia 4:08.468
3. Russia 4:09.132
4. Ukraine 4:16.025
5. Japan 4:16.248
6. Belgium 4:17.316
7. Belarus 4:18.099
8. Switzerland 4:20.675
9. Mexico 4:23.036
10. Kazakhstan 4:23.732
11. South Africa 4:25.169