Two young Kiwi road cyclists returned to the track with a vengeance when they won the two-man Madison at the UCI World Cup in Mexico today.
Tom Scully (Invercargill) and Paddy Bevin (Taupo) combined to win the 40km, 160 lap race at Guadalajara with a brilliant performance, winning the final sprint to claim the honours, which qualified the New Zealand for the event at next month’s World Championships.
It proved an outstanding return to international track competition for the 23-year-old Scully, who won a World Cup in Melbourne four years ago but had his budding career thwarted after a serious accident racing on the roads in Ireland.
The UK-based professional road rider, who took a year to recover from the effects of his crash, made his return to the track in the Oceania Championships on his home velodrome late last year.
Scully also finished runner-up in the Points race, only two points behind the winner after being one of four riders to put a lap on the field.
Bevin, 22, has been based in the USA for the last four years riding for Pro Continental team Bissell Racing, before returning to New Zealand fulltime late last year and turning his attentions back to the track.
The pair led early until the Belgian combination won the penultimate sprint to draw level on points but the Kiwis answered by winning the final sprint to claim the honours.
The other podium went to Auckland’s Sam Webster who beat fellow BikeNZ rider Eddie Dawkins for the bronze medal in the men;s sprint.
Earlier Dawkins was the third fastest qualifier in 9.912 seconds, with all three New Zealand sprinters going under the 10 second barrier. Webster was sixth fastest in 9.949 and Southland’s Matt Archibald 12th in 9.982, finishing sixth after going out in the semifinals.
In other racing world championship medallist Simon van Velthooven was fourth in the men’s 1000m time trial in 1.00.214s, won by Australian Scott Sunderland in 59.675, and won the ride-off for seventh to 12th in the keirin after finishing fourth in the semifinals.
The men’s team sprint could only manage sixth place with a solid 43.860s effort, Bevin was 10th in the 4000m individual pursuit in 4:31.519 while the development squad was 10th fastest in the 4000m team pursuit in 4:09.209.
The squad returns to New Zealand ahead of team selections for the UCI World Championships in Cali starting in five weeks.