3 Dec 2011

Three-medal haul for New Zealand cyclists in World Cup

6:54 am on 3 December 2011

New Zealand has taken gold in the men's pursuit at the UCI track cycling World Cup in unusual circumstances, while claiming silver medals in two other races on an eventful second day in Colombia.

After running second to world champions Australia in qualifying in the men's pursuit, the New Zealand quartet were awarded the gold medal after their opponents crashed out on the first straight.

The Australians were not awarded a restart and therefore the New Zealand team of Jesse Sergent, Sam Bewley, Aaron Gate and Marc Ryan won the gold medal.

Earlier the women's team pursuit won the silver medal after world champions Great Britain proved too strong in the final.

The Brits set the early pace to open up a gap of more than a second before the New Zealand trio of Alison Shanks, Lauren Ellis and Jaime Nielsen clawed their way back, but it wasn't quite enough.

The Manawatu sprinter Simon van Velthooven continued his powerful form to grab the silver medal in the men's 1000 metre time trial, powering home in 1:01.160, which 3/100ths of a second outside the national record he set in last week's Oceania Championships.

Frenchman Francois Pervis took out the gold in 1:00.075 but van Velthooven put up his hand for a potential medal in next year's world championships in Melbourne.

The rest of the sprint team had less good fortune after former triple world junior champion Sam Webster crashed during the second lap of the team sprint after a puncture during qualifying.

Teammate Eddie Dawkins was left with no room to manoeuvre and crashed also.

It has also been a mixed start for Shane Archbold in the men's omnium.

He was third fastest in the flying lap in 13.173, which was another personal best after his 13.192 at last week's Oceania Championships.

He lost two laps to finish 22nd in the points race and was one of three riders disqualified for racing infractions in the elimination race.