New Zealand’s team of sixteen elite cyclists, which has trained here in Cambridge, finished up the UCI Track World Cup in France this week with a few medals to show for their efforts.
The new women’s team pursuit quartet of Kirstie James, Holly Edmondston Bryony Botha and Cambridge local Rushlee Buchanan won the silver medal on Day 2 of the event, October 20, losing first place by just 0.6 seconds to Australia in an exciting final. While they had to settle for second in 4:17.560 the quartet were rewarded not only with their first World Cup silver medal but a New Zealand record in the process, bettering the previous time set at the Rio Olympics.
“It is a really good starting point,” said the experienced Buchanan. “We are a fresh team and not tapered. It is the first time this group has ridden together, and while we had a few hiccups in the first two rides, we were calm and collected today.
“It is a testament to the work we have been doing and importantly the culture we have been creating, and the benefit of that came out in the final when we laid it down and had a ride we could be proud of.”
Day three saw sprinter Eddie Dawkins produce a superb silver medal performance in the men’s keirin, being forced to come around four riders on the final bend to finish 0.07s behind Japanese star Yuta Wakimoto in the final.
Next, the UCI Track World Cup moves to Canada for another round over October 26 – 28, as part of the Cup’s six-stop tour around the world, ending in Hong Kong January 25 – 27. The second to last round will be hosted at the Avantidrome in Cambridge, January 18 – 20.