Outstanding Cambridge rider Ellesse Andrews has claimed a gold medal in a superb performance on the penultimate day of the UCI Junior World Track Cycling championships in Italy.  Andrews, 17, won the junior women’s individual pursuit, upsetting the local Italian favourite and setting a world record in the process, with teammate Nicole Shields fourth.

Southland’s Corbin Strong also had to settle for fourth place in the men’s omnium competition.

Nelson’s Shaane Fulton, in her first year as a junior, impressed to finish seventh in the 500m time trial. The 16 year old clocked 35.823 in a strong performance, where winner Mathilde Gros, the individual sprint winner, claimed the title in a new world record.

Andrews won the bronze medal in the individual pursuit at the world championships in Switzerland last year, although she was then also focussing on sprinting, winning a rainbow jersey with Emma Cumming in the team sprint.  However, under the watchful eye of her father Jon, a former Commonwealth Games medallist and Olympian and now the national junior coach, Andrews has fully transitioned to endurance. She was part of the team pursuit that won the silver medal on the first day, and today she earned her fourth world championship medal.

She joins Gemma Dudley and Steph McKenzie as the highest medal female medal winner with four each, although Andrews has two gold medals. Rio Olympians Dylan Kennett and Regan Gough both won six junior track world championship medals, while Campbell Stewart won five.  It was Andrews’ second rainbow jersey, behind the four by Stewart and three by Olympic medallist and current world champion Sam Webster and equal with the great Sarah Ulmer at the junior world championships.

Andrews set her mark with a brilliant performance in the morning qualifying where her 2:18.080 was more than four seconds inside the previous world record set recently on the same track at the European Championships.  It qualified Andrews for the gold medal ride against Italian star Letizia Paternoster, who won the omnium yesterday. The Kiwi took advantage of her speed to open a one second advantage through the first kilometre and while the Italian pushed hard, Andrews held her off to win in 2:19.038 with Paternoster half a second behind.

Earlier Shields, who qualified fourth fastest in a personal best 2:23.048, had to settle for fourth when she was edged by Elena Pirrone (ITA) for the bronze medal ride.  Southland’s Strong also finished just outside the medals, in a share of fourth in the four-discipline omnium.

Strong was third in the scratch race and second in the tempo race. However his early departure in the elimination race proved a setback.  He was well marked in the final Points race as both Tsimoshyk and Australia’s Stephen Cuff managed the bonus points for lapping the field to overtake Strong for the minor medals behind Julius Johansen (Denmark) who was the standout rider.

Christchurch’s Kate Smith finished 10th in the 20km Points race won by Canada’s Maggie Coles-Lyster.

The Championships finish today with Fulton in the keirin, Josh Scott in the 1000m time trial, Emily Shearman and Nicole Shields in the women’s Madison and Corbin Strong and Aaron Wylie in the men’s Madison.


Junior women individual pursuit 2000m, qualifying: Ellesse Andrews (NZL) 2:18.080, 1 (World Record); Letizia Paternoster (ITA) 2:18.679, 2; Elena Pirrone (ITA) 2:21.667, 3; Nicole Shields (NZL) 2:23.048, 4.

Gold medal ride: Andrews 2:19.038, 1; Paternoster 2:19:641, 2. Bronze medal ride: Pirrone 2:22.626, 3; Shields 2:25.233, 4.

Junior Women 500m time trial: Mathilde Gros (FRA) 33.937, 1 (World Record); Lea Friedrich (GER) 34.301, 2; Yana Tyshenko (RUS) 34.625, 3. Also: Shaane Fulton (NZL) 35.823, 7.

Junior men omnium:  Scratch race 5km: Uladzislau Tsimoshyk (BLR) 1, Julius Johansen (DEN) 2, Corbin Strong (NZL) 3. Tempo race: Johansen 1, Strong 2, Euro Kim (KOR) 3. Elimination race: Fabio van den Bossche (BEL) 1, Johansen 2, Alex Vogel (SUI) 3. Also: Strong 15. Points: Stephen Cuff (AUS) 37, 1; Tsimoshyk 34, 2; Per Munstermann (GER) 25, 3.

Overall: Johansen 117, 1; Cuff 109, 2; Tsimoshyk, 96, 3. Also Strong and Vogel 94, equal 4.

Junior women Points: Maggie Coles-Lyster (CAN) 41 points, 1; Marii Novolodskaya (RUS) 29, 2; Chiara Consonni (ITA) 29, 3. Also: Kate Smith (NZL) 4, 10.


Photo:  Guy Swarbrick


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