Eddie Dawkins returned to a familiar step on the podium alongside teammates Ethan Mitchell and Sam Webster, with the three of them taking victory in the team sprint at the Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Adelaide. Afterwards he gave his thoughts on the win and where he and the team are at in the season.
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The New Zealand men’s team sprint won their sixth consecutive title at the Oceania Track Cycling Championships on day 1 of racing, and despite the consistency victory never loses its shine. “It feels as good as the first one. They are always a hard fought battle against Australia, they always put everything out there,” said Dawkins.
“It is early in the season so hard to tell how each team is going but we found out this evening we are very very close, which is awesome we always have that great rivalry and sets up a good platform for Oceania athletes progressing through to World Cups and World Championships.
Returning to competitive racing for the first time since the Commonwealth Games, Dawkins, Mitchell and Webster had a couple of unknowns as to where they stood in relation to the season; and the Adelaide velodrome provided a great test for them. “It was real good,” Dawkins explained of how the experience trio executed their race. “It is the first team sprint since Commonwealth Games so it is hard to gauge how we are going to go. This track is a difficult track to master if you are not here all the time.
“The last time we were here was in 2014 and took a wee bit of time to get used to it. Turning into the corners instead of being thrown in and the line is a little bit different so took us a little bit of time to get used to that but after that we sort of had a bit of a better run that second one and came away with a better time.
The day was a great one for New Zealand sprinters as Mitchell, Webster and Dawkins shared the podium with Waikato Bay of Plenty’s Sam Dakin, Callum Saunders and Jackson Ogle who took the bronze medal.
“Tomorrow is a day off for the sprint guys, the development guys and the Hub guys from the Subway Regional Performance Hub are doing the kilo tomorrow and then we have sprint and keirin.”