UCI World Cup Cycling, Melbourne – Day 2 Wrap, Results
New Zealand cyclists scored two further medals on the second night of finals at the UCI World Cup in Melbourne.
While the Olympic medal winning men’s team pursuit were expected to earn their medal in the bronze ride-off, their effort was over-shadowed by a remarkable performance from teenager Tom Scully who surprised the field to win the men’s scratch race.
After narrowly missing out on the final, the New Zealand quartet of Sam Bewley, Peter Latham, Marc Ryan and Jesse Sergent buried the Olympic silver medallists Denmark in the bronze medal ride at the Hisense Arena.
They were denied a sub-four minute ride when they caught the Danes on the last corner with a Danish rider lapping out coming between two of the kiwi riders.
Shortly after Scully, selected for Melbourne to ride the Madison and gain experience, showed a maturity beyond his 19 years to out-manoeuvre a talented field to win the scratch race.
Ten riders put a lap on the field with Scully making the decisive break a lap from the finish, cruising to win by five lengths to beat some well performed and experienced riders including world champion Chris Newton.
Earlier Joanne Kiesanowski (Christchurch) completed an excellent meet in finishing sixth in the women’s points race, scoring in three sprints in her first major track event in several years after concentrating solely on the road.
Palmerston North’s Simon Van Velthooven finished fifth in the final of the keirin won by Germany’s Carsten Bergemann after the kiwi finished second in his second round, with triple world junior champion Sam Webster missing out . He finished third in the ride-off for seventh to 12th place.
Webster’s world champion teammate Ethan Mitchell (G-Race, Auckland) finished 11th in the kilo time trial.
For Rotorua’s Bewley it was a strong finish to a monster year that started in February and finished by securing qualification for next year’s world championship.
“It was a good effort. Naturally we would have rather been riding for the gold but we’ve got the second fastest time of the meet and we would have gone under four minutes if we hadn’t got caught up with the Danes,” Bewley said.
“I’m not making excuses but we are hardly fresh right now. Three of us have been racing for 11 months and we are absolutely shattered. So we can take a lot of positives out of this. We’ve showed we can come off a hard Tour of Southland and get a New Zealand record last week and come on to here and find some good form.
“It’s mission accomplished here. It’s a small stepping stone towards next year with the world championships and then the Commonwealth Games later in the year.”
Bewley said he has learned a lot this year after mixing his first season on the professional road circuit in USA with Trek Livestrong as well as two major track campaigns.
“We were still able to ride fast on the track off a big road campaign. I am confident we can mix both successfully next year.”
The 22 year old is hanging out for a break but it is only going to be for a week back home in Rotorua before he jets off for his first training camp with his new Radio Shack pro team led by the legendary Lance Armstrong.
Scully, 19, had expected to use the points and scratch races as experience and a shakedown for his Madison when he pairs up with Marc Ryan tomorrow.
The talented young Southland rider impressed in the points race but stunned several more vaunted and experienced riders when he pounced on the field with a lap to go to win the scratch race.
“He was in a group of five than put a lap on the field and ultimately that grew to 10 riders. Tom positioned himself with such intelligence and then went for it with a lap to go and absolutely nailed them,” said Mark Elliott, BikeNZ’s High Performance Director.
“We brought Tom here primarily for experience. He has totally exceeded our expectations for sure. It is a quite exceptional young prospect. He has come here as an unknown but he’s bound to be a marked man from here in.”
Tomorrow's final day features New Zealand riders in the men’s Madison and sprints and women’s team pursuit.
Day 2 Finals Results:
Kilo Time Trial: Scott Sunderland (AUS) 1:02.171, 1; Chongyang Wang (CHN) 1:02.204, 2; Teun Mulder (COF) 1:02.404, 3. Ethan Mitchell (G-Race, NZL) 1:05.305, 11.