Two young road cycling standouts get their chance back on the track after being included in the BikeNZ team to contest next week’s final UCI World Cup in Mexico.
An eight-strong team flew out last night for the third World Cup, returning to the South American country that hosted the second World Cup before Christmas, this time racing in Guadalajara.
The endurance squad includes Invercargill’s Tom Scully and Taupo’s Paddy Bevin who have made recent returns to the track after road contracts in USA and Europe in recent years.
They join a development group with Southland’s Cameron Karwowski and Christchurch’s Hamish Schreurs to contest the team pursuit and other individual events next weekend.
The sprint squad is at near full-strength with Olympic medallist Simon van Velthooven, Sam Webster and Matt Archibald with Eddie Dawkins riding under the High Performance Sport NZ trade team banner.
“In terms of our sprint team, we want to qualify the maximum number of riders for all sprint events at next month’s World Championships,” said national head coach Dayle Cheatley.
“The team sprint has qualified but we would like to qualify two riders for each of the individual events as well. That’s why we’ve taken most of our top sprinters.
“In our endurance team, we have already qualified for our key events, the team pursuit and the omnium. So this is an excellent chance to develop our younger riders and give them the chance to put up their hands for selection to the Commonwealth Games this year.
“Looking further ahead we want our very best riders available for selection for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and so I want to give some of the young riders a chance now.”
Scully, 23, was one of the most promising young track riders, winning a World Cup scratch race in Melbourne four years ago but suffered a serious injury when he crashed into a lamp-post in a sprint finish riding for the New Zealand team at the RAS Tour of Ireland in 2010.
After nearly a year out on recovery, he moved to the road with Garmin-Sharp as a trainee then to Chipotle and last team Team Raleigh in the UK. He put his hand up on his return to the track last month, riding impressively in the Oceania Championships in Invercargill.
"I'm pleased with how things are going. It's all coming back to me after not being on the track for a couple of years," Scully said.
"At the moment my role is to be a road rider for my team in the UK but anything can happen. Obviously, there's a big event next year and if the national team were to call there's a clause in my contract that I can be released. We'll see what happens."
Bevin, 22, won the Oceania Criterium title in 2009 and two stages on the Tour of Southland before being attracted to US-based Bissell Racing where he performed with credit over the last three years.
However with the team disbanding, Bevin has moved back to New Zealand with the desire to return to the track where he also impressed at the Oceania Championships.
The team to compete in the three day event in Mexico starting this Saturday (NZ time) is:
Matt Archibald (Invercargill), Patrick Bevin (Taupo), Eddie Dawkins (Invercargill), Cameron Karwowski (Invercargill), Hamish Schreurs (Christchurch), Tom Scully (Invercargill), Simon van Velthooven (Feilding), Sam Webster (Auckland). Coaches: Anthony Peden, Ross Machejefski.