Sunday the 15th of March saw the final days racing at the NZ Track Cycling Championships where Bike Manawatu Cyclists delivered outstanding results over the 5 days of racing beginning last Wednesday evening.
Michaela Drummond took out the Omnium Event in a close battle with Bryony Botha who is an under 19 Junior Worlds representative, it came down to the last event of six to decide the victor with Michaela out scoring Bryony in the points race.
Emily Shearman collected Bronze in the 500m time trial on the first night with Libby Arbuckle finishing in fourth place, the following night saw Emily Shearman ride under the NZ Record by 2 seconds in the Individual Pursuit only to have the Southland rider ride under that time to win Gold with Shearman taking Silver and Libby Arbuckle continued her form from the previous night to take the Bronze Medal.
Shearman went on to take Bronze in the sprints competition and after an exhausting series of five rides to get the Bronze plus a qualifying round for the points race she went into the points race final and lead until the last sprint to take the bronze medal but ran out of legs in the final sprint.
Libby Arbuckle and Emily Shearman rode with two West Coast team mates in the 3000m Team Pursuit qualifying only to smash the NZ record and qualify in first place for the ride off for gold that evening, evening came and a superb ride with these two leading the two younger team mates saw them once again smash the Record to take Gold and shave an amazing 10 seconds off the record set the previous year which they were a part of.
The Final Gold and event saw Shearman team up with Bloxham from Levin for team sprint qualifying only to see them set a new NZ Record in beating existing record holders Southland to go into the Gold medal ride off that evening, the evening session saw them once again set a new standard smashing the morning NZ Record and taking the Gold Medal.
Zoe Croton in her first ever Track National competition proved she will be a force next year still qualifying for the Under 15 events, she rode superbly to make finals and gained valuable experience for the coming years.
Max Taylor also riding in his first National Track Comp managed a beautiful ride in the Derby heats to go through to the next round and rode brilliantly all week again gaining valuable experience for the future.
Dylan Simpson rode some personal bests and was also very competitive in his events, he rode the team pursuit in a composite team but they rode like old hands and only just failed making the medal round and next year should go well as a second year rider in that age group.
Anna Robson riding her first track season competed in all events managing to make the points race final after breaking away in the last 2 laps off qualifying, she also showed good form in the Indiviual Pursuit with a high finish. She to learnt a lot over the week and like the other first timers now have a hunger to compete at a high level in the years to come.
As usual Megan Blatchford Peck brought back medals in the Time Trial and Individual Pursuit and showed why we can always rely on her to bring home the bacon, she is looking good in her build up to next years World Masters Championships where she will benefit from riding in her correct age category.
Gabrielle Bahler took bronze in the Masters 1 women Individual pursuit at her National Track Championships.
John Stewart showed he is one to watch in the future with sterling performances in the team sprint and Scratch races but the Individual Pursuit was a great ride being Fourth qualifier and destroying his opposite in the Bronze Medal ride off. He hasn’t had a lot of track riding but showed he has the potential to be a good source of medals in the future.
The Under 19 Boys Omnium was a medal grab for Bike Manawatu riders who collected Gold, Silver and Bronze from a class field of NZ riders on show. Campbell Stewart showed his class winning the gold medal with a great series of rides to dominate but it was extremely close between Joel Yates and Carne Groube coming down to the last two sprints in the final event to sort Silver and Bronze. Joel ended up with Silver by a few points with a strong showing in the event but it was also good to see Carne show the form we know he has to take the Bronze Medal.
BikeManawatu riders results are highlighted in green on the following spread sheet.