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Well, Commonwealth Youth Games were an absolute experience and a half! Being able to represent New Zealand in the warm weather of the Bahamas was awesome! Not only being able to ride and race in the Bahamas, I was also able to go to attend all of the other sports that were involved. The Athletes village was a water front resort with an all you can eat food buffet. The start of the games began with an opening ceremony that was short lived by the cyclists as we had to leave early due to our race being the next day. We were there for the teams’ lap around the track with all 1300 athletes from the commonwealth. After we left there were many speeches and then dancing and music with the locals and a live stage band.

The first day of competition was the Time trial which was a 9km ride around a loop that we would be seeing a lot of during the road race. Overall the time trial didn’t go to plan at all and I struggled to put out the power needed to be competitive and finished in 21st place. It was one of those days that I just had no legs. After the Time Trial, a few of us found our way down to the table tennis table and began to play amongst ourselves. Eventually the Anguilla team turned up to play against and my table tennis partner James Croft and I managed to beat the team to take our first Win of the trip.


The road race four days later was completed in 34-degree heat (in the shade) and was awesome. The race was aggressive from the gun with multiple attacks going on in the first two laps. I gave it a go a few times to try and create a break, but continued to get shut down. A group of 4 managed to finally get away and get out eventually to a 2-minute lead. There was another group that were away with the peloton starting to chase. With the Scottish, Australians, a Jersey rider, and myself driving the chase, we caught the chasing group but the break were able to stay away to win by about one minute. I finally finished in the bunch in 16th place. It was a great experience to be able to race with all these other countries and athletes.


To conclude the games, there was a closing ceremony with plenty of speeches and some more dancing by the Bahamians. The whole team that went was awesome and they were absolute legends in and out of competition. It was so cool to meet and watch these athletes tear it up.

Overall the trip was awesome and I have so many people to thank who made it happen and helped me get there: My coach Grant Wilson, all those that contributed financially including the Bike Manawatu Junior Development fund, and finally, last but not least, my Family, Mum and Dad, Nan and Grandad and Grandma and Grandad who are all my biggest helper, sponsors and motivators!

Steve Stannard was awarded the prestigious Cycling New Zealand Road and Track Coach of the Year Award, at last Saturdays CNZ Awards Night.

A couple of teenagers have been added to an experienced New Zealand squad of 16 for next months World Track Cycling Championships in Hong Kong and they are our very own Michaela Drummond and Campbell Stewart from BikeManawatu. 

Article from Radio New Zealand...

The focus will be on the current world champion men's team sprint in their quest for back-to-back rainbow jerseys in what would be their third in four years.

Eighteen-year-old Michaela Drummond, a silver medallist at last year's junior world championships, has been selected in the women's endurance squad.

Drummond won the national elite women's omnium title.

Invercargill's Nick Kergozou and Palmerston North teenager Campbell Stewart have been selected in a six-strong men's endurance squad.

Kergozou competed at last year's world championships in London, while Stewart, 18, has won four world junior championship gold medals.

Cycling New Zealand head coach Dayle Cheatley said "we have a good number of our Rio Olympians back again but we are also excited with the healthy injection of youth into the squads who, along with others who impressed at the age championships, will be pressing our more experienced riders towards Tokyo 2020 and beyond. "

"We are excited about the likes of Michaela Drummond and Campbell Stewart. We won't be putting them under too much pressure but allowing them the opportunity to experience a world championship environment. They are both outstanding prospects but it does take time to transition from junior to elite ranks."

The sprint squad is led by the world champion trio of Eddie Dawkins, Ethan Mitchell and Sam Webster, with Zac Williams, while Natasha Hansen is the only female sprinter.

The women's endurance squad comprises the Rio quartet of Racquel Sheath, Jaime Nielsen, Lauren Ellis and Rushlee Buchanan, who performed with distinction in Rio, with Drummond the newcomer.

The men's endurance squad has Rio riders Piet Bulling, Aaron Gate, Regan Gough and Dylan Kennett, with the addition of Kergozou and Stewart.

They will prepare in Cambridge before leaving for Hong Kong early next month.

It is the first time the world championships have been staged in Asia since 1990, when New Zealand earned its first ever women's world championship title after Karen Holliday won the Points Race.