Kiwi teenage talent Campbell Stewart gave a hint of his prodigious future with a close fifth placing in the omnium on the penultimate day of the UCI track cycling world championships in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn.
The 19-year-old from Palmerston North, a double junior world omnium champion, was having his first venture into the gruelling four-event omnium, that comprises a scratch race, tempo sprint race, elimination race and points race. He moved to fifth going into the pivotal 25km points race where he won the final double points sprint to retain that placing in an impressive debut for one of the youngest in the field.
“It was a pretty unreal experience with all the top guys there,” said Stewart. “I was hoping to get a lap somewhere but didn’t quite work out so I picked a couple of sprints where I was able to push it and take out the final one to get back to fifth overall.”
Stewart was 13th in the scratch race and third in the Tempo. He survived some aggressive riding in the exciting elimination to finish eighth to push him to fifth place going into the all-important points race. He rode prominently but could not get into a telling break to get a lap and 20 crucial bonus points but picked up the win in the final double points sprint.
“At the start of the omnium I had an open mind. I had the hope of getting on to the podium which didn’t quite work out which I am not too fazed about right now as I slowly build each year move up a few places in the next few years.
“I have some work to do and build more base to get a little bit stronger and little bit faster. I definitely feel I can push it with the big boys.”
Earlier, Eddie Dawkins ran Britain’s Jack Carlin extremely close in their quarterfinal of the men’s sprint. The big Kiwi was edged by just 1/100th of a second in their first ride in the best of three, with a photo finish required to separate the pair. The British rider managed to hold off Dawkins in the second ride. Australian Matthew Gleatzer went on to beat Carlin in two straight rides to claim the gold medal.
Kirstie James had a strong performance to finish sixth in the women’s individual pursuit where American Chloe Dygart set a new world record of 3:20.072 in qualifying. James rode a near-personal best 3:34.150 which was only one second outside a place in the medal round, while Bryony Botha was 13th fastest in 3:38.065. Dygart broke her own world record in winning the final in 3:20.060.
Today’s final day sees Natasha Hansen and Emma Cumming in the keirin, Dylan Kennett and Bradly Knipe in the men’s 1000m time trial and Regan Gough pairs with Tom Sexton in the Madison.
Day 4 Results:
Men Sprint Quarterfinals: Maximilian Levy (GER) bt Ryan Owens (GBR) 2-0, Matthew Glaetzer (AUS) bt Denis Dmitriev (RUS) 2-0, Sebastien Vigier (FRA) bt Mateuz Rudyk (POL) 2-0, Jack Carlin (GBR) bt Eddie Dawkins (NZL) 2-0. Gold: Gleatzer bt Carlin 2-0. Bronze: Vigier bt Levy 2-0.
Men Omnium, Scratch: Jan Willem van Schip (NED) 1, Eiya Hashimoto (JPN) 2, Daniel Holloway (USA) 3. Also: Campbell Stewart (NZL) 13. Tempo Race: Ivo Oliveira (POR) 28 points, 1; Szymon Sajnok (POL) 25, 2; Campbell 25, 3. Elimination: Sajnok 1, Van Schip 2, Simone Consonni (ITA) 3. Also: Stewart 8. Points: Oliver Wood (GBR) 38 points, 1; Oliveira 31, 2; Stewart 15, 3. Overall: Sajnok 111 points, 1; Van Schoip 107, 2; Simone Consonni (ITA) 104, 3. Also: Stewart 93, 5.
Women Individual Pursuit, qualifying: Chloe Dygert (USA) 3:20.172, 1 (World Record); Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) 3:29.319, 2; Lisa Brennauer (NED) 3:32.485, 3; Kelly Caitlin (USA) 3:33.084, 4. Also NZers: Kirstie James 3:34.150, 6; Bryony Botha 3:38.065, 13. Gold: Dygart 3:20.060, 1 (World Record); Van Vleuten 2; Bronze: Catlin 3:34.658, 3; Brennauer 3:35.920, 4.
Women Madison: Great Britain 50 points, 1; Netherlands 35, 2; Italy 20, 3. Also: New Zealand (Michaela Drummond, Racquel Sheath) 13.