Nick Kergozou’s form is strong heading into the Oceania Championships, the Kiwi fast man rode to victory in Sunday’s Team Championship second round in Tokoroa and has sights on some strong performances in Invercargill and then onwards to the Tour of Southland.

After second place in round 1, Coupland Bakeries’ Nick Kergozou had a wrong to right in Tokoroa and he did it in style, reversing the second place finish of the previous round.  He did it in style, taking the win ahead of Corbin Strong of Team Skoda-Fruzio and Cabjaks-Castelli’s Logan Griffin.  With round 1 winner Tom Sexton finishing 7th the result was enough for Kergozou to claim the overall lead in the series with Regan Gough sitting in third overall.

Kergozou was pleased with the result, particularly as it was a win that came on an unfamiliar course for the Kiwi.  “It was great to get the win in the weekend, after getting second in the first Dynamo round I was hungry for a win but wasn’t too sure on the course as it was my first time racing it,” Nick explained.  “The form is on a high at the moment after our national team’s overseas campaign. I’m seeing big personal gains for me on the road and the track which is exciting heading into qualification for me.  Oceas will be another test and then Southland but these will also be building blocks to contribute to the performance/form.”

This week is all about the boards for Nick and co, with a big New Zealand squad taking on the Aussies down in Invercargill at the Oceania Track Cycling Championships.  Last night Kergozou opted not to tackle the team pursuit, instead turning his attention to other matters.  “Oceanias we are racing individual events.  I’m lining up in the Scratch, Omnium, Kilo, and madison with Corbin Strong. I’m wanting to see what I can do in the Kilo with my current form but I haven’t trained for it. I’d still like to push a good result out. 

“Its really just a good week of intensity and racing.”

In last night’s opening event for Kergozou, the 15km scratch race, it was compatriot Jordan Kerby who took the win ahead of Kelland O’Brien after the pair lapped the field.  Kergozou finished seventh behind Corbin Strong and Tom Sexton.

It’s an exciting line up in the New Zealand team with 31 riders in the line up for the four days of racing; including 13 riders in the men’s endurance outfit.  Kergozou is excited about the mix in the team and the blend of Olympic hopefuls for 2020 riding alongside some of our bright young talents starting to make their mark on the international scene.   

“It is a rather large team with some great depth. Watching the younger guys in training step up and execute is awesome,” Nick told us.  “There’s two New Zealand Team Pursuit teams which is good to give these guys a chance in a racing environment.  It’s important for Worlds/Olympics to secure the desired points for all events.”

Looking beyond Oceania Champs Kergozou will return to familiar roads as he lines up for the Tour of Southland starting on 3rd November then it’s straight into the big international fixtures.

“I’m staying down in Invercargill until the end of the Tour of Southland. After Oceanias I’ll focus on preparing for the tour down here on my home roads.  After Southland we head into World cups and will await selection for what events we attend.  So it’s a very busy time of year.”

That busy time of year will hopefully culminate in next year’s World Championships which will be held from the 26th Feb-1st March in Berlin and then the Tokyo Olympics.  The World Cup this year is also going to be thrilling for New Zealand as Cambridge again plays host to one of the six rounds; with round 4 taking place at the Avantidrome from 6th-8th December.

Photo: Eugene Bonthuys

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