Waikato's Peter Latham has pushed his claims for selection for the upcoming UCI World Cup in London after winning the individual pursuit title on the first night of finals at the national track championships in Invercargill.
Latham, a Beijing Olympic team pursuit squad member, beat the challenge from BikeNZ team-mate Westley Gough of Waipukurau in a vital showdown as selectors look to fill the vacant spot in the team pursuit for the London World Cup later this month.
Latham is one eight team pursuit riders vying for the four Olympic team pursuit spots.
Kaytee Boyd of Waikato Bay of Plenty was the best of the women in the 3000 metre individual pursuit, taking the national title ahead of team-mate Rushlee Buchanan.
Both Boyd and Buchanan have been part of the BikeNZ team pursuit squad at world championship level and are also battling for a spot.
BikeNZ riders Ethan Mitchell and Sam Webster, of Auckland, and Feilding's Simon van Velthooven were too strong for their Southland rivals in the team sprint final.
The trio rode a 44.268 to narrowly miss the national record by 3/10ths of a second, taking the title ahead of Regan Sheath, Matt Archibald and Eddie Dawkins.
Sprint specialists Natasha Hansen and Stephanie McKenzie, also of Southland, paired up to win the women's team sprint, again finishing just a blink off the national record.