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New Zealand cyclists will ride off for bronze tonight in the men’s and women’s team pursuit medal rounds at the UCI World Cup in Beijing.
BikeNZ has rested a number of riders to develop some new combinations before finalising the team for next month’s key world cup in London and the world championships in Melbourne.
The combination of Westley Gough, Cameron Karwowski, Peter Latham and Myron Simpson will take on Great Britain for the bronze medal in the men’s 4000m team pursuit.
They clocked 4:04.247 in qualifying on the opening night of competition at the velodrome used for the 2008 Olympics. They were the third fastest in the competition led by Russia in 4:00.488 and Australia in 4:02.585, who will fight it out for the gold medal.
Meanwhile the BikeNZ trio of Kaytee Boyd, Rushlee Buchanan and Gemma Dudley will take on hosts China for the bronze medal in the 3000m women’s team pursuit.
They were the fourth fastest in qualifying in 3:27.357, a second behind the Chinese combination. The New Zealand combo started conservatively to be seventh fastest at the 1000m mark, improving to fifth fastest at the 2000m before rattling home to push into the medal ride-offs.
Belarus were fastest in 3:24.857 and will take on Ukraine (3:25.612) in the gold medal ride.
Tonight’s action includes the team sprint with the BikeNZ combination of Natasha Hansen and Katie Schofield making their world cup debut as they push for late qualification for the London Olympics following world class performances at November’s Oceania Championships.
Also in action is the men’s team sprint trio of Matt Archibald, Eddie Dawkins and Simon van Velthooven, competing together for the first time, while experienced Christchurch rider Jason Allen will contest the first day of the omnium.