2 Feb 2015

World Champs track cycling team named

11:57 am on 2 February 2015

With an eye on the 2016 Olympics, Cycling New Zealand has chosen a youthful squad for this month's Track Cycling World Championships in France.

Simon van Velthooven of New Zealand wins silver in the Mens 1000m Time Trial.  Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Simon van Velthooven of New Zealand wins silver in the Mens 1000m Time Trial. Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Photo: Photosport

Following strong performances at the national championships which finished last night, 21-year-old Alex Frame, and 19-year-old Regan Gough have been included in the 18-strong team.

21-year-old Dylan Kennett has earned a recall after missing the recent World Cup series after defending his men's individual pursuit at the national championships.

Cycling New Zealand high performance director Mark Elliott said the clear focus was looking ahead to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"We have been tracking the progress of our developing riders in light of where we believe they can be in 18 months time," he says.

"That does not mean we have shut the door on other riders, but given the current form of some young riders, these world championships present the ideal opportunity to transition them with a clear focus on Rio."

All five current high performance squad riders have been included in the men's sprint, with Matt Archibald and Simon van Velthooven to provide cover for the world champion and Commonwealth Games gold medal trio of Sam Webster, Ethan Mitchell and Eddie Dawkins.

The women's endurance squad remains unchanged after encouraging performances at the opening two world cups.

They're currently ranked third in the Olympic nations rankings.

20-year-old Racquel Sheath will contest the omnium while Rushlee Buchannan, Georgia Williams, Jaime Nielsen and Lauren Ellis will compete in the team pursuit.

Steph McKenzie, with four titles at the national championships, gets the nod as the key sprinter with Katie Schofield included as the best starter in the team sprint, while Natasha Hansen, who only returned to the squad late last year, will be a potential contender in the future.

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