2 Feb 2015

Webster sprints to another National title

6:57 am on 2 February 2015

The Auckland combination of Sam Webster, Zac Williams and Ethan Mitchell won the men's team sprint from last year's winners Southland in a tight battle at the Track Cycling Nationals in Cambridge.

The New Zealand national track cycling sprint champion Sam Webster.

The New Zealand national track cycling sprint champion Sam Webster. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

While the big guns, led by the team sprint world champions, shone on the final night of racing, the championships also celebrated the emergence of some serious young talent.

Cycling New Zealand head coach Dayle Cheatley said there were good signs for the future, impressed with the growing depth particularly in the women's endurance racing.

"Probably my single biggest highlight was the men's 1000m time trial where five riders went 1:01 or better," he said.

"You won't see that anywhere else in the world at a national championship let alone an international event."

Cheatley singled out double Commonwealth Games gold medallist sprinter Sam Webster for special praise after his clean sweep of all sprint events this week.

The emergence of exciting young talent showed with the three major endurance titles won by 19-year-old Regan Gough in the points race, 20-year-old Dylan Kennett in the individual pursuit and the scratch race by 21-year-old Alex Frame.

Kennett joined with Sam Dobbs to claim the 25km Madison - the final event of the championships - from Gough and his junior world championship teammate Luke Mudgway.

"The performances from the likes of Regan Gough, Nick Kergozou, Zac Williams and others are all good signs," said Cheatley.

"There are also some talented young girls coming through like Olivia Podmore and Emma Cumming. There is some really good cycling talent for the future."

The women's honours remained with Southland with Steph Mckenzie, completing a clean sweep of four national titles, teaming with Natasha Hansen to dominate the team sprint over Otago.

Southland produced a classy display to claim the men's 4000m team pursuit honours, prevailing over the youthful East Coast North Island unit.

Waikato Bay of Plenty were too classy in the women's team pursuit with the combination of Rushlee Buchanan, Racquel Sheath, Jaime Nielsen and Pip Sutton overtaking Auckland two laps from the finish of the 3000m battle.

Cycling New Zealand will name the team for this month's UCI Track Cycling World Championships on Monday.

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