World champs for Jodie

Jodie Blackwood, centre, won gold in the 500m time trial last year with Caitlin Kelly, left and Meg Baker. Photo: Supplied.

Cambridge teenager Jodie Blackwood has been selected in a nine-strong group of promising cyclists to compete in the UCI Track Cycling Junior World Championships in South America in August.

The eight endurance riders and one sprinter show the spread of cycling talent throughout New Zealand with riders from Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Manawatu, Waikato and Auckland.

The sole sprinter in the squad is Blackwood who rode successfully for the St Peter’s School, Cambridge team winning two golds and a bronze in the under 17 girls’ event at the track national champs last year.

Earlier this year she won the sprint title at the Australian championships along with a gold at the Oceanias following a superb come-from-behind performance in the junior women’s sprint as a first year rider at under-19 level.

“This is an encouraging group of young riders with five of them first-year juniors who could compete again next year,” said Cycling New Zealand’s Graeme Hunn of Cambridge.

“After the disruptions with Covid, this year we have had the benefit of returning to competition across the Tasman, which has provided a solid litmus test for our riders, and also some understanding of international competition before they travel.”

The team will be headed by lead coach Elyse Fraser along with Andrew Williams (men’s endurance) and the national assistant sprint coach Fionn Cullinane. The group will be managed by former Olympian Rushlee Buchanan.

The team to compete in the UCI Track Cycling Junior World championships in Cali, Colombia from 23-27 August is:

Female: Meg Baker (Christchurch), Jodie Blackwood (Cambridge), Caitlin Kelly (Invercargill), Georgia Simpson (Feilding). Male: Matthew Davidson (Christchurch), Marshall Erwood (Invercargill), James Gardner (Dunedin), Magnus Jamieson (Invercargill), Austin Norwell (Auckland).

Coaches: Elyse Fraser (Christchurch) lead & female endurance; Andrew Williams (Christchurch) male endurance; Fionn Cullinane (Cambridge) sprint; Rushlee Buchanan (Cambridge) manager.

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