Calendar Event: March 2, 2009 - March 7, 2009

Raboplus Track Championships This Week

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Mon 2/Mar/09 8:20am

BikeNZ coach Tim Carswell is expecting world class performances and some major battles from leading riders in the RaboPlus New Zealand Championships that begin in Invercargill this week.

The major incentive is selection in the BikeNZ team for next month’s UCI World Championships in Poland which is a major stepping stone towards the 2010 Commonwealth Games and ultimately the 2012 London Olympics.

New Zealand has qualified riders for virtually all events at the upcoming world championships but with a limit of 13 riders there will be real competition for selection in the week-long championships at the ILT Velodrome.

The focus is expected to go on the pursuiters with Beijing World Cup gold medallists Alison Shanks and Jesse Sergent likely to come up against some stern competition, especially in the women’s division where some burgeoning junior talent and success from the recent Power to Podium programme has unearthed some exciting potential.

“The women’s programme is especially exciting. It’s very new at the international level and we have quite a number of talented riders especially out of our Power to Podium programme. The development has been pretty rapid,” Carswell said.

He said that up to a dozen women will be pushing for qualification into the top four in the individual pursuit, and also for places in the women’s team pursuit, which also picked up a gold medal at the recent World Cup.

Shanks (Otago) is the standout but will face competition from fellow team pursuiters Kaytee Boyd (Auckland), and Lauren Ellis (Ashburton). Other contenders will include Serena Sheridan (Nelson), rowing convert Jaime Nielsen (Cambridge) and Laura Thompson (Christchurch), talented young riders including 2008 junior world medallists Gemma Dudley (Levin), Sequoia Cooper (Invercargill) and Cathy Jordan (Invercargill), along with Rushlee Buchanan (Te Awamutu), Penny Day (Christchurch) and former Olympic rower Sonia Waddell (Cambridge).

Beijing Olympian Catherine Cheatley, missing from the championship with injury, will also be a prime contender for selection.

Sergent (Feilding) will find competition from his fellow pursuit team members – Wes Gough (Waipukurau), Sam Bewley (Rotorua), Marc Ryan (Timaru) and Peter Latham (Te Awamutu), who has made a rushed trip home after competing in the Tour of California. The men’s squad will compete in the team pursuit as a unit, where they are aiming to go under the four minute barrier on home spoil for the first time.

Omnium world champion Hayden Godfrey, who won gold at the Beijing world cup in the scratch race, will be aiming at building up for Poland.

The sprinters will likely be led by Feilding’s Simon Van Velthooven and Invercargill’s Eddie Dawkins, and Christchurch’s Natasha Hansen.

In the absence of former world champion Greg Henderson and double Olympic medallist Hayden Roulston, a plethora of emerging talent including the likes of Jason Christie and Shane Archbold, will be aiming at success in the scratch and points races, while several talented female riders will head to Invercargill following the Tour of Wellington road race.

The sprinters are in action on Monday, with the men’s points race at night, the sprints are decided on Tuesday, the individual pursuit on Wednesday, time trial and women’s points race Thursday, Team sprint and women’s team pursuit on Friday and the keirin, men’s team pursuit and scratch races on Saturday.

RABOPLUS NZ TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS - SCHEDULE
Monday 2 March 2009 (10.30 a.m.)

Men & Women Sprint Qualifying
Men Sprint 1st round and Repecharge

Monday 2 March 2009 (6.30 p.m.)
Men 30k Points Race Final

Tuesday 3 March 2009 (10.30 a.m.)
Men Sprint 8th Final & Repecharge
Women Sprint Quarterfinal & 5th-8th
Men Sprint Quarterfinal & 5th-8th

Tuesday 3 March 2009 (6.30 p.m.)
Women Sprint Semifinal & Final
Men Sprint Semifinal & Final

Wednesday 4 March 2009 (10.30 a.m.)
Women 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualifying
Men 4000m Individual Pursuit Qualifying

Wednesday 4 March 2009 (6.30 p.m.)
Women 3000m Individual Pursuit Final
Men 4000m Individual Pursuit Final

Thursday 5 March 2009 (6.30 p.m.)
Women 500m Time Trial Final
Men 1000m Time Trial Final
Women 20k Points Final

Friday 6 March 2009 (10.30 a.m.)
Women & Men Team Sprint Qualifying
Women 3000m Team Pursuit Qualifying

Friday 6 March 2009 (6.30 p.m.)
Women & Men Team Sprint Final
Women 3000m Team Pursuit Final

Saturday 7 March 2009 (10.30 a.m.)
Men 4000m Team Pursuit Qualifying
Women's and Men's Keirin Heats, repecharge
Men Scratch Heats (7.5k)

Saturday 7 March 2009 (6.30 p.m.)
Women's and Men's Keirin Semifinal & Final
Men Team Pursuit Final
Women 10k Scratch Final
Men 15k Scratch Final
Melissa_Theuriau
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