Below are snippets from the Bike NZ website about the results that have been achieved over the first 3 days at the Oceania Track Champs in Invercargill.
World silver medallist Jesse Sergent produced a superb sub 4:20 performance to be fastest in qualifying in the men’s 4000m individual pursuit.
The Radioshack Nissan Trek rider and Bike Manawatu member clocked 4:18.634 to be less than two seconds outside his national record, and will meet compatriot Peter Latham in the gold medal ride tonight. Latham recorded a personal best 4:19.410 to win through to the final while teammate Sam Bewley (4:21.644) meets Australia’s Edward Bissaker (4:27.204) for the bronze medal.
This was followed up with a record performance from teammate Jesse Sergent who also set a new national record clocking 4:16.139 to win the men’s 4000m individual pursuit.
It broke his own national record by half a second, beating teammate Peter Latham (4:21.483) in the final.
Sergent said he was focussed on a top performance in what could be his final individual pursuit, as he moves his focus to the road after the team pursuit campaign to the London Olympics.
“I felt quite tired after the morning ride but had a good recovery and a sleep in the afternoon and felt really refreshed,” Sergent said. “I wanted to get that record for sure and I wanted to take advantage with the track running fast.
“Overall I am really encouraged by things. That 3:55 with the team pursuit yesterday has not really sunk in and tonight was also really pleasing. We have had a very limited track build up to this, so overall I think we are in excellent shape.”
The trio of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Simon van Velthooven set the fastest ever time for a New Zealand team sprint combination. They topped qualifiers in 44.074 which broke the national residents’ record as well as eclipsing their previous best time of 44.118s set at the World Cup in Cali, Colombia last year.
They take on Australia’s Dan Ellis, Jason Niblett and Peter Lewis in the gold medal ride tonight.
The BikeNZ quartet of Marc Ryan, Sam Bewley, Aaron Gate and Jesse Sergent went under the four minute mark to top qualifiers in the men’s 4000m team pursuit.
They clocked 3:59.568, one of a handful of occasions they have gone under four minutes in a morning qualifying ride, and only a second outside the New Zealand record.
New Zealand’s Simon Van Velthooven (left) edges Australia’s Scott Sunderland on the line to win the gold medal. (Image – Envious Photography, BikeNZ)
Big Bike Manawatu sprinter Simon Van Velthooven showed real maturity in his young career with a superb victory in keirin on the third night of finals in Invercargill tonight.
The 22-year-old produced a massive effort in the final thrust at the line to edge out Australian champion Scott Sunderland.
It was van Velthooven’s third gold medal this week after national records in winning the team sprint and 1000m time trial.
Van Velthooven has been the fourth rider among the burgeoning sprint group but his performances have forced him into real consideration for next year’s London Olympics.
“This year I did not go to Japan to race in the professional series and that was a good thing,” Van Velthooven said. “It allowed me to train in Europe with the guys, then race in the US and come back and really prepare well.
“I knew if I got behind Sunderland I would get boxed in and not get over him. But I just held there for two laps on his wheel. I lost some ground in the corners but made it up in the straights. I knew with my kilo performance that I could hang in there.
“To be fair even at the last corner I was behind but that’s great to get up.”
Sunderland finished second with compatriot Peter Lewis third with the other kiwi Eddie Dawkins unable to get clear air.