On the back of some excellent performances at this week’s Oceania Championships, Cycling New Zealand will send a top-strength team to contest the UCI Track Cycling World Cups in Canada and Chile.
The team sprint combination of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins, fresh from their All Comers record at the Oceania Championships, will lead a 15 strong Vantage Elite Track Team for the World Cup in Milton in Southern Ontario. The World Champion trio will then return home while the rest of the squad will head to the fourth of five World Cups in Santiago, Chile.
The Vantage Elite Team, which leaves on Sunday, includes endurances squads for both men and women, while leading sprinter Natasha Hansen returns from injury to join Emma Cumming in the women’s team sprint.
The women’s team pursuit squad is led by the national criterium champion Rushlee Buchanan, Oceania omnium winner Racquel Sheath, points and individual pursuit winner Kirstie James, scratch race champion Bryony Botha and Michaela Drummond.
The endurance men’s squad is headed by Oceania madison winners Tom Sexton and Campbell Stewart, Nick Kergozou, Jared Gray and Harry Waine, a replacement for Regan Gough who is recovering from injury.
The UCI World Cup competition provides the pathway for qualification to the 2018 world championships in the Netherlands in the first week of March.
The teams are:
Milton World Cup, December 1-3, Santiago World Cup 9-10:
Men, Endurance: Jared Gray (Hamilton), Nick Kergozou (Southland), Tom Sexton (Southland), Campbell Stewart (Palmerston North), Harry Waine (Auckland).
Women, Sprint: Emma Cumming (Southland), Natasha Hansen (Southland). Endurance: Rushlee Buchanan (Te Awamutu), Bryony Botha (Auckland), Michaela Drummond (Palmerston North), Kirstie James (Southland), Racquel Sheath (Waikato).
Men, Sprint (for Milton only): Eddie Dawkins (Southland), Ethan Mitchell (Auckland), Sam Webster (Auckland).