New Zealand announced its biggest ever cycling team for the Commonwealth Games last weekend, naming 18-year-old Ellesse Andrews as the country’s youngest track rider to compete in the games.
Andrews’ selection follows her recent ‘emerging athlete’ award at the Halberg Awards, and world-record win in the individual pursuit at last year’s junior world championships.
The 2017 St Peter’s graduate is joined by another Cambridge local, Sam Gaze, who will represent New Zealand in cross-country mountain biking.
Local track cyclists Zac Williams, Racquel Sheath and Natasha Hansen were also named on the 33-strong cycling team, as well as the infamous trio of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins – the latter two chasing medals in their third Commonwealth Games.
Another Cambridge local named on the team was rower-turned-cyclist Hamish Bond, set to take part in the road race and time trial. After his triumph in Rio winning gold in the coxless pair, the nine-time world champion rower switched to cycling and last month won the elite men’s time trial at the national road cycling championships.
“We are excited to have Hamish Bond in the team,” said Cycling NZ High Performance Director, Martin Barras. “He is a remarkable character and his sporting prowess is legendary. He has already impressed us to make this standard after less than two years in our sport.”
New Zealand racked up a record 15 medals during the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow four years ago, and 12 of that team’s riders are among the group set to compete at the Commonwealth Games from April 4 to 15 on the Gold Coast. The recent announcement takes the total number of athletes selected for the NZ team to 151.