Fittingly a rising teenage rider upset her more seasoned rivals, as the growth of young talent impressed at the Vantage Age Track National Championships that finished in the Avantidrome.  Michaela Drummond claimed the women’s omnium title ahead of Racquel Sheath and Rushlee Buchanan.

The championships attracted nearly 300 riders competing in age group and Masters competitions, while the elite riders contested the New Zealand Omnium Championships.  The elite women’s title was won by 18-year-old Manawatu rider Michaela Drummond, a member of Cycling New Zealand’s high performance squad. The junior world champion silver medallist in the omnium last year, Drummond was second in the scratch race, third in the tempo and then won the elimination and pivotal points race to claim the honours.

“It’s my first year elites so I wanted to sit back and be cautious. I felt good in the scratch race and after it I felt wow I’m not far behind these girls,” Drummond said.  “I am absolutely stoked. I am so happy with how I rode.”

“I won my medal at junior worlds last year under the old omnium format and struggled with the timed races and did well in the bunch races so the new format really suits me. I love the new format … it is a lot more fun.”

Earlier Southland prospect Corbin Strong took out the under-19 men’ s omnium title, cemented with second in the tempo and a win in the elimination, to finish on 139 points, well clear of Auckland’s Aaron Wylie and Southland’s Sam Miller.

There was plenty to impress with the age group racing with the Waikato Bay of Plenty pair of Olivia King and Mckenzie Milne upsetting top qualifiers Southland to win the under-17 team sprint and equal the New Zealand record.

Waikato BOP’s Patrick Clancy, Lachlan Robertson and Kiaan Watts fought back to pip Auckland in the under-17 male team sprint final by just 2/100ths of a second, with both teams under the 50 second barrier.  Waikato BOP also prevailed in the final of the under-17 girls team pursuit, clocking 3.42.508 to set a new national record in edging top qualifiers Southland.

The boys final went to the Canterbury quartet of Griffyn Spencer, Logan Currie, Laurence Pithie and Abe O’Donnell, who came back in the final 1km to pip Waikato Bay of Plenty.  “It was arguably the best age group national track competition that I’ve witnessed with the size of the entries and the quality of racing,” said Cycling New Zealand Development Manager, Graeme Hunn.  “The depth of talent is excellent with three heats of under-17 riders in the scratch race just fighting to make a final and a significant increase in both the quality and quantity of female riders.”

“The most impressive aspect is that the riders are showing more skill and tactical awareness.”

Hunn said the development of the Subway-sponsored Regional Performance Hubs is a catalyst for this development, and he expects a number of riders on show this week to push for inclusion in the junior world championship team next year and pressure for places in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and beyond.

There were plenty of national records established in the Masters racing, with riders in final preparations for next month’s World Masters Games.  Auckland’s Russell Scott, Antony Brown and Cliff Parker broke their own New Zealand record in winning the team sprint final 49:927 and go under the 50 second barrier for the first time.

The outstanding Southland pair of Erin Criglington and Leanne Dalley took out the women’s team sprint while Jake Rowse from Canterbury won the C1 scratch race.

Antony Brown, Russell Scott and Cliff Parker of Auckland compete in the Masters Men 750m Team Sprint, photo © Dianne Manson/CyclingNZ

Results, day 5:

Female, Elite omnium:

Scratch Race: Racquel Sheath (WBP) 1; Michaela Drummond (WCNI) 2; Holly Edmondston (MSC) 3. Tempo Race: Lauren Ellis (MSC) 1; Rushlee Buchanan (WBP) 2; Drummond 3. Elimination Race: Drummond 1; Buchanan 2; Sheath 3. Points Race: Drummond 28, Sheath 22, Buchanan 15. Overall: Drummond 142, 1; Sheath 122, 2; Buchanan 119, 3.

Team sprint 500m:

U17: Olivia King and McKenzie Milne (WBP) 37.091, 1; Emily Paterson and Helena Rikiti (SLD) 37.357, 2; Eva Parkinson and Ally Wollaston (WBP) 37.589, 3.

Masters: Southland (Erin Criglington and Leanne Dalley) 38.397, 1; Southland (Nicola Stevens and Geertien Venter) 39.288, 2; Waikato Bay of Plenty (Julie Graddon and Erin Gray) 40.032, 3.

Under-17 Team Pursuit 3000m: Waikato Bay of Plenty (Mya Anderson, Mckenzie Milne, Eva Parkinson and Ally Wollaston) 3.42.508 NZ record, 1; Southland (Emily Paterson, Natalie Green, Helena Rikiti and Tyla Green 3.46.468, 2; Canterbury (Sami Donnelly, Ava Morrow, Erin Downie and Henrietta Christie 3.49.865, 3.

Male, Under-19 Omnium:

Scratch Race: Jakob Lester (WCNI) 1; George Jackson (WGN) 2; Jackson Ogle (WBP) 3. Tempo Race: Aaron Wylie (AKL) 1; Corbin Strong (SLD) 2; Harris Fogelberg (AKL) 3. Elimination Race: Corbin Strong (SLD), 1; Jackson Ogle (WBP); Sam Miller (Southland) 2; Aaron Wylie (AKL) 3. Points Race: Harry Waine(Auckland) 30, Dylan Simpson (WCNI) 29, Strong 26. Overall: Strong 130, 1; Wylie 119, 2; Samuel Miller (Southland) 112, 3.

Under-17 Team Pursuit 3000m: Canterbury (Griffyn Spencer, Logan Currie, Laurence Pithie and Abe O’Donnell) 3.24.818, 1; Waikato Bay of Plenty (Archie Martin, Liam Simmonds, Kiaan Watts and Lachlan Robertson) 3.25.237, 2; West Coast North Island (Michael Richmond, Ethan Craine, Kyle Hoskin and Angus Claasen) 3.30.455, 3.

Under-17 team sprint 750m: Waikato Bay of Plenty (Patrick Clancy, Lachlan Robertson and Kiaan Watts) 49.900, 1; Auckland (Cameron Manley, Sam Upton and Callum Walsh) 49.921, 2; Canterbury Ezra Williams-Gillies, Laurence Pithie and Sebastian Lipp) 50.749, 3.

Masters: (Auckland (Russell Scott, Antony Brown and Cliff Parker) 49.938 NZ record, 1; West Coast North Island (Richard Horn, Patrick Weinrauch and Grant Haggart) 51.575, 2; Waikato Bay of Plenty (Andrew Weatherley, Bevan Bell and Bryce Shapley) 51.023, 3.

Masters Cat 1 Scratch Race: Jake Rowse (CTB) 1; Sam Park (OTA) 2; Michael White (SLD) 3.

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