1 Mar 2018

NZ sprint team miss out on medals

11:16 am on 1 March 2018

The New Zealand men's sprint team has failed to defend their title at the World Track Cycling Championships in the Netherlands.

New Zealand men's sprint team Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster, Eddie Dawkins

New Zealand men's sprint team Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster, Eddie Dawkins Photo: www.photosport.nz

Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins never appeared on top of their game throughout their competition.

National sprint coach Anthony Peden says there is great disappointment.

"The team sprint is brutal and not much has to go wrong from the start for it to snowball and you can get exposed very quickly. Uncharacteristically the boys did not execute a ride close to their capability either individually or collectively.

"There is immense disappointment. They gave it everything but the execution wasn't there."

The men finished fifth fastest in qualifying in 43.736s, topped by hosts Netherlands in 42.869. They could not improve with a 43.434 effort in the first round up against Great Britain who qualified for the gold medal ride against the hosts.

"We also came here to kick on in the competition over the next few days and that's what we have to do is to reset and show what we are capable of in the sprint, keirin and kilo," said Peden.

The Netherlands won the gold, Great Britain the silver and France the bronze.

The three New Zealanders had won a medal at every World Championship since 2012 including three gold medals.

The women's team sprint of Natasha Hansen and Emma Cumming qualified seventh fastest in qualifying in 33.867 with world champions Germany fastest in 32.640. They improved with their best ever time of 33.453 in the first round, and while pipped by Russia, it pushed them to fifth fastest in the world, faster than the likes of Great Britain.

"That was very pleasing and encouraging for the women's programme," said Peden. "They produced faultless rides from both of them and delivered what they are capable of and where they are in the world at the moment.

"That was a sensational fifth in the world which is the highest world ranking for women's team sprint and the fastest they have gone.

Germany went on to win the title from hosts Netherlands with Russia third.

The New Zealand men's pursuit team also missed out on the medal after two rounds of their event and will meet Switzerland in the ride off for fifth.

The New Zealand womens pursuit team were 4th fastest and they will meet top qualifiers the United States in the first round tomorrow with the top two then riding off for gold.