Young Kiwi cyclist Zac Williams saved the best until last with a superb performance in the 1000m time trial on the second morning of the UCI Oceania Track Championships in Cambridge.
With the final heat in the final event on the morning schedule, the Vantage elite Men’s Team rider topped qualifiers in the Kilo Time Trial. His time of 1:00.447 was the fastest time by a New Zealander at sea level, previously held by former World Championship medallist Matt Archibald. He also broke the New Zealand All Comers record previously held by London Olympic medallist Simon van Velthooven. Williams heads the eight riders who will compete for the medals tonight.
Earlier Australia’s individual pursuit world champion Jordan Kerby impressed to top qualifiers in the 4000m individual pursuit. The 25 year old, who set the third fastest time in history to win the individual pursuit world title in Hong Kong this year, was fastest in qualifying at the Avantidrome with a time of 4:17.553.
It sets up the Australian for a crack at the New Zealand All Comers record of 4:16.139 set by New Zealand’s Jesse Sergent five years ago when he rides against New Zealand’s Jared Gray for the gold medal tonight.
Auckland’s Bryony Botha, a member of the Vantage Elite Team, took five seconds off her previous best to best qualifiers in the women’s 3000m individual pursuit in 3:37.076 and sets up a battle with teammate and last night’s Points race winner, Kirstie James for the gold medal.
In other qualifying action, Australian stars Stephanie Morton and Kaarle McCulloch, who won the team sprint last night, both won their respective first round qualifiers in the keirin. In Under-19 action Kiwis Shaane Fulton and Sophie-Leigh Bloxham won their respective first round rides in the keirin; compatriot Ally Wollaston was fastest in the 2000m individual pursuit qualifying and Australia’s Thomas Cornish broke the All Comers record as fastest qualifier in the 1000m Time Trial in 1:01.900.
Women keirin heat 1: Stephanie Morton (AUS) 1, Sophie Knox (AUS) 2, Natasha Hansen (NZL) 3. Heat 2: Kaarle McCulloch (AUS) 1, Holly Takos (AUS) 2, Olivia Podmore (NZL) 3.
Women 3000m individual pursuit qualifying: Bryony Botha (NZL) 3:37.076, 1; Kirstie James (NZL) 3:37.643, 2; Kristina Clonen (Tasmania) 3:41:492, 3; Macey Stewart (Tasmania) 3:41.608, 4.
Men 4000m individual pursuit qualifying: Jordan Kerby (AUS) 4:17.553, 1; Jared Gray (NZL) 4:23.836, 2; Conor Leahy (Western Australia) 4:24.275, 3; Ben Harvey (NSW) 4:27.589, 4.
Men 1000m time trial qualifying: Zac Williams (NZL) 1:00.447, 1 (All Comers record); Bradly Knipe (NZL) 1:01.391, 2; Nicholas Yallouris (AUS) 1:01.558, 3.
Women Keirin heat 1: Shaane Fulton (NZL) 1, Madeleine Gough (Southland) 2, Skye Robson (Queensland) 3. Heat 2: Sophie-Leigh Bloxham (NZL) 1, Nicole Marshall (NZL) 2, Rihana Rezau (Western Australia) 3.
Women 20000m individual pursuit: Ally Wollaston (NZL) 2:28.274, 1; Lauren Robards (ACT) 2:29.318, 2; McKenzie Milne (NZL) 2:30.819, 3; Annamarie Lipp (NZL) 2:33.472, 4.
Men 1000m time trial qualifying: Thomas Cornish (NSW) 1:01.900, 1; (All Comers Record); Matthew Rice (ACT) 1:03.375, 2; Thomas Garbett (WCNI) 1:04.185, 3.