Raboplus New Zealand Track Championships - Day 2 Report

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Wed 4/Mar/09 8:45am

Southland has claimed another elite men’s title at the RaboPlus New Zealand Track Championships, with Eddie Dawkins dominating the men’s sprint final much to the delight of the Invercargill crowd.

Dawkins took on arch-rival Simon van Velthooven (West Coast North Island) in the best of three sprint final but needed just the first two races to claim victory.

“I’ve done a lot of hard work, a lot of speed work and I said before tonight, I’m not going to let anyone take me to three rides in the final so I stuck to my word,” Dawkins said.

“On the day I had better form, better legs and a better frame of mind than Simon.”

As expected, both Dawkins and van Velthooven easily progressed through their semi-finals earlier in the night with the 19-year-old Dawkins winning two straight against Auckland’s Damien Wiseman, as did 20-year-old van Velthooven against Canterbury’s Adam Stewart.

Van Velthooven will get a chance to redeem himself against Dawkins in Saturday night’s Keirin where the Manawatu rider is the reigning champion.

In the women’s event defending champion Natasha Hansen from Canterbury went through both the morning quarterfinals and evening semis in dominant form, winning two straight against Otago’s Honor Davies in the semis before doing the same in the final against team-mate Penny Day.

“In every race I pretty much pushed myself and stretched my lead a bit, but I was thinking it was better to be safe than sorry,” said the 19-year-old.

Tomorrow promises to be the most exciting day yet at the champs’ with the men’s and women’s individual pursuiters in action.

Beijing World Cup gold medalists Alison Shanks and Jesse Sergent are likely to come up against some stern competition, with the women’s division especially competitive with up to a dozen riders pushing for qualification into the top four.

Both Sargent and Shanks will be looking to break New Zealand records tomorrow, Shanks her own set at last year’s champs’ and Sargent that of Olympic silver medallist Hayden Rouslton also set last year.

Shanks (Otago) is expected to be pushed hard by Kaytee Boyd (Auckland) and Lauren Ellis (Ashburton) with the riders also gunning for places in the women’s team pursuit for this month’s UCI World Championships in Poland.

The RaboPlus New Zealand Track Championships continue through to Saturday night.

Day 2 Results:
Elite Men Sprint Semifinals:
Semifinal Heat 1:

Eddie Dawkins (Southland) 2 Straight
Damien Wiseman (Auckland)

Semifinal Heat 2:
Simon van Velthooven (West Coast North Island) 2 Straight
Adam Stewart (Canterbury)

Eddie Dawkins (Southland) 2 Straight
Simon van Velthooven (West Coast North Island)

Ride off for bronze:
Adam Stewart (Canterbury) 2 Straight
Damien Wiseman (Auckland)

Elite Women Sprint Semifinals:
Semifinal Heat 1:

Natasha Hansen (Canterbury) 2 Straight
Honor Davies (Otago)

Semifinal Heat 2:
Penny Day (Canterbury) 2-1
Megan Blatchford (West Coast North Island)

Natasha Hansen (Canterbury) 2 Straight
Penny Day (Canterbury)

Ride of for Bronze:
Megan Blatchford (West Coast North Island) 2 Straight
Honor Davies (Otago)
Track Champs - Day 2 PM - Results
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