Elite Men – Simon Van Velthoven (BM), Liam Brown (BM), James Cuff (BM), Joel Yates (BM), George Roberts (BM), Jordan Castle (BM), Phil Marfell.
Elite Women – Ruby Perry (BM), Michaela Walker.
Under 19 Men – Campbell Stewart (BM), Carne Groube (BM), Cody Simpson (BM), Jakob Lester.
Under 19 Women – Michaela Drummond (BM), Emily Shearman (BM), Libby Arbuckle (BM), Megan Gardner (BM), Simone Davie.
Day 1 – Wednesday 10th February
In the Elite Men’s Individual Pursuit qualifying we had 3 riders. In a classy field, with the Rio Olympics in mind Joel had an incredible ride posting a PB of 4:33 and finishing the qualifying rounds 10th with the top 4 going through.
The Under 19 women’s 500m Time Trial saw Michaela Drummond claim our 1st medal, taking bronze, with Emily Shearman 4th and Libby Arbuckle 8th. From their 1st rides the girls in green and white were already turning heads.
Then onto the Under 19 1km Time Trial where Carne posted a top time of 1:05 with 2 heats to go. In the final heat against Campbell, Southlands Bradly Knipe stormed out of the gates, claiming the gold medal and breaking the NZ Championships record. Campbell took the silver medal with Carne finishing 4th.
WCNI’s 1st gold medal was claimed by Simon Van Velthoven, as the Rhino did a 1:01 minute 1km Time Trial in the Elite Men category. James Cuff had an exceptional ride, posting a huge personal best with Jordan Castle posting a very competitive time of 1:02.86 and finishing 10th.
The Under 19 Women Scratch race was very exciting, as the girls completed the 7.5km in a very aggressive style. WCNI dominated, with Michaela Drummond 2nd, Libby 3rd (her 1st U19 medal) and Emily 4th.
Junior World Scratch race champion Campbell had a target on his back as he wore his World Championship skin suit in the 10km Under 19 Scratch Race. With the end of the race looming and a rider just off the front Carne showed his speed and power, rapidly moving away from the group, closely followed by Campbell. With 1 lap to go Campbell accelerated away from the other riders to claim the title. Carne finished 5th.
Day 2 – Thursday 11th February
This exciting day was packed full of tactics as NZ’s top male sprinters contested the Elite Sprint. Simon, Jordan and Liam qualified in the top 16 and were through to the sudden death 1st round. Simon and Jordan both won their 1st rounds but in the quarter finals Simon lost to Matthew Archibald and Jordan was 2nd to top seed Eddie Dawkins. Simon then won the 5-8th final, where he claimed 5th and Jordan 7th overall.
The Under 19 Women 2km Pursuit saw WCNI’s Emily and Michaela face off in the bronze ride off. It was a very tight race, with both riders getting big cheers from the WCNI supporters and Emily just coming back to win the race in the last lap. A PB from Libby saw her finish 7th.
WCNI again showed their dominance in the Under 19 3000m Individual Pursuit. Jakob Lester was off in one of the 1st heats posting a good time. Carne then put a solid time on the board, and we nervously waited to see if it was enough to qualify for the evening finals. Carne finished just outside the top 4 riders and Campbell qualified 1st and went on to take the gold medal in the evenings final against Jared Gray.
Megan Gardner represented WCNI in the U19 women’s Keirin, and rode extremely well. Especially considering this is he 1st track nationals.
The elite women’s points race saw Michaela Walker and Ruby Perry mix it with NZ’s top endurance track cyclists as they sped round the Velodrome.
The last race of the night was the Elite Men’s 15km Scratch race where Joel Yates (1st year elite) showed how he is up there with NZ and the world’s best, as he was in the mix for majority of the fast paced race that saw Alex Frame (Canterbury) take the win.
WCNI Medal Count
GOLD – 3
SILVER – 2
BRONZE – 3
TOTAL – 8
With two more days of racing to go… watch this space!!