Members of the New Zealand Olympic track team have just completed a week-long training camp, honing their form at the UCI's World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland. It was the first opportunity this year for the eight-rider pursuit team, including reserves and four from the Beijing Olympic squad, Sam Bewley, Westley Gough, Marc Ryan and Jesse Sergent to train together.
The WCC's location was ideal for the group who has trained at the Swiss velodrome in the past. It was a central location for ProTour riders, Sam Bewley (Orica-GreenEdge) and Jesse Sergent (RadioShack-Nissan) to join the national team. Former world cup omnium winner Shane Archbold also joined the team for the week of intense training.
Bewley and Sergent were part of the 2008 Olympic team however their fellow ProTour countryman Hayden Roulston (RadioShack-Nissan) will not be part of the track team. Roulston made the difficult decision at the end of last year to step away from the track and focus purely on the road. It was a tough decision for Roulston who won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics for the individual pursuit.
While the final composition of the pursuit team is yet to be finalised, the national coach Tim Carswell told the UCI that he was "confident" his team can achieve "at least a similar result" to their team pursuit bronze medal achieved at this year's UCI Track World Championships held in Melbourne. The New Zealand pursuit team denied Australia a medal in the Beijing Olympics when they won the bronze-medal round. Carswell was happy with how the week played out.
"That was a good week, the riders are in good shape and we had no crashes and no illness. We were not worrying about our times, we did specific training and made sure the riders had everything they need for the final period" he said.
The team will complete their final preparations for the Olympics in Bordeaux, France closer to the Games’ start on 27 July.