19 Jan 2009

BikeNZ team gearing up for world championships

12:18 pm on 19 January 2009

The New Zealand track cycling team are looking ahead to the UCI World Track Championships in Poland at the end of March, following their four gold medal successes at the latest World Cup event in Beijing.

Hayden Godfrey won the scratch race, Jesse Sergent and Alison Shanks won the men's and women's individual pursuit events and the fledgling women's pursuiters also won the new team event.

The men's team pursuit also won the silver medal.

Shanks set a new personal best in her gold medal ride, Sergent posted the fastest time ever by a New Zealander and the rookie women's team pursuit of Shanks, Lauren Ellis and Kaytee Boyd recorded the second fastest time in the world in their gold medal ride.

It was the first time the trio of Alison Shanks, Kaytee Boyd and Lauren Ellis had ridden together in competition - and they beat the hosts China in the final at the Olympic venue, the Laoshan Velodrome.

The New Zealanders' three minutes 24.421 seconds followed their top time in qualifying.

Women's pursuit was only added to the UCI World Championship programme last year - and while Shanks is very experienced, Ashburton's Ellis is just out of the junior ranks, and Boyd of Auckland is a former mountainbiker and BMX rider, who only got on a track bike for the first time a few weeks ago.