New Zealand is all systems go for the upcoming UCI Track World Championships in Denmark, with strong contenders on both the men’s and women’s teams.
Alison Shanks, the current women’s individual pursuit world champion, will be leading the women’s team for New Zealand, with strong support coming from able riders like Jesse Sergent, Wes Gough, Sam Bewley, and Peter Latham. Shanks will be competing in both the individual and team pursuit events.
Aside from pursuing a strong finish at the Track Worlds, New Zealand is also planning on using the event to get ready for the Commonwealth Games, which will be held in India this coming October 2010. The team has already showed that it is capable of competing at the highest levels, and as head coach Tim Carswell says, “I would like to think we can make gains as we work towards the Commonwealth Games later in the year and on to the 2012 London Olympics”.
Carswell adds that the focus for the team right now is getting into the best possible shape, and that they are expecting to build upon their momentum in the Commonwealth Games and adding “more strength across the board”.
Another prominent New Zealand cyclist, Tom Scully, will also be racing in the Track Worlds, where he will be looking to further strengthen his reputation as a young rider. Scully already has two Track Worlds victories under his belt, among others, and is one of the top favorites to watch in the event this year.
Meanwhile, team coach Tim Carswell mentions that the team’s sprint program “has improved to a stage where we wanted to ensure we have covered all eventualities in Copenhagen”. He explains that even though the focus right now seems to be on the endurance cyclists, their sprinters also have a lot to offer, and he will be counting on Sam Webster, Eddie Dawkins, Adam Stewart, Ethan Mitchell, and Simon Van Velthooven to provide stiff competition against the other national squads.
New Zealand team for UCI Track World Championships:
Men: Sam Bewley, Eddie Dawkins, Wes Gough, Peter Latham, Ethan Mitchell, Marc Ryan, Tom Scully, Jesse Sergent, Myron Simpson, Adam Stewart, Simon Van Velthooven, Sam Webster
Women: Rushlee Buchanan, Gemma Dudley, Lauren Ellis, Jaime Neilsen, Alison Shanks
Image courtesy of http://www.geniusbikes.com