The New Zealand Elite & Under 19 Track Championship being held in the newly opened Velodrome (named Avantidrome to reflect a NZ home grown cycling family business sponsorship deal by Avanti Bikes) featured 9 athletes from around our region to represent WCNI West Coast North Island during 4 days of fast and furious racing.
Three-time world championship medalist Simon van Velthooven continued his dominance of the men’s 1000m time trial on the opening night to clock 1:01.998 to win Gold, and in the Individual match sprints gained bronze.
In the U19 Men 1000m TT or “kilo” Jordan Castle secured bronze with a personal best time of 1:06.595. In the hotly contested and argy bargy world of Keirin racing Castle provided the most exciting race of the evening to win Gold by straight wins through the heats, to convincingly lead in the final from 450m out after a tactical shoulder tussle from Southland’s Mike Culling. Revenge by Culling evened the scales against Castle in the match sprints final where Castle was narrowly beaten and had to settle for Silver.
In the U19 Women’s 500m TT Kate Stewart won silver with a time of 37.734, showing she was back near her best form after recovering from an illness that saw her miss the last 12months of racing. The twinny of Stewart and Ruby Perry paired up for U19 team sprint where they won silver.
Luke Mudgway who now lives in Palmerston North but rides for his previous region had an outstanding series of longer distance races winning Gold in 15km Scratch, Silver in 20km Points and Bronze in 3000m Individual Pursuit.
Castle, James Cuff (son of Anthony Cuff a former world record holder on the track) and Joshua Kendall won Bronze by a narrow margin in the Team Sprint to top off a fantastic opening event for the new high performance track facility.
Big thanks and much appreciation must go to the management team who supported our athletes… Rachael Cottam, Grant Wilson, Oods, John (crash and bounce back she’ll be right) Stewart,