12 Apr 2017

NZ sprinters chase world championship repeat

12:49 pm on 12 April 2017

The defending world champions the New Zealand men's sprint team will be among the first riders on track when the world champs begin in Hong Kong tonight.

The trio of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins will attempt to defend the rainbow jerseys they won in London last year.

The New Zealand sprint team of Eddie Dawkins, Sam Webster and Ethan Mitchell has won gold at the World Track Cycling Champs in London.

The New Zealand team on their way to world championship success in London. Photo: Photosport

It will be the first world championship run under the new format whereby riders will have to compete in three rides in less than two hours.

The riders will have a point to prove as well as they look to overcome their Rio Olympic disappointment, where they had to settle for silver after narrowly missing out on gold to Great Britain.

The fastest eight of 16 teams will progress to the first round, with the fastest two in that round to ride off for the gold medal and next two fastest for the bronze.

The women's sprint qualifiers are tomorrow.

The team pursuits will be finalised on the second day of the championships with the fastest eight women's teams from tonight's qualifying to ride their first round and the medal ride, while the men have the medal ride only.