All-male line-up selected by BikeNZ for track worlds

BikeNZ will send an all-male team of just five riders to the UCI Track World Championships in Minsk, Belarus later this month.

The Kiwi team of Edward Dawkins, Ethan Mitchell and Sam Webster defeated France and Australia at the recent Track World Cup in Mexico with the trio bolstered by London Olympic medallist Simon Van Velthooven for the worlds. Van Velthooven's efforts over the weekend at the national championships, where he claimed victory in the kilo and the keirin cemented his ride.

Aaron Gate is the lone rider selected for the endurance events; he took a clean sweep of the individual pursuit, scratch race, points race
and Madison with Myron Simpson in Invercargill.

BikeNZ High Performance Director Mark Elliott said medal potential was the key in team selection.

"We are in a rebuilding phase in terms of our men's team pursuit and while we could have put a team together that would be competitive in Minsk, we believe that level of investment will be better spent on the development of
a new group of endurance track riders.

"Our plan is to send eight riders to our European base in Belgium to focus on skills and development in track cycling and a road training and racing component."

He said that the form from the men's sprint group has been world class in recent weeks.

"The unlucky rider is Matt Archibald. He is an integral part of the development and his contribution has been world class. One of the real strengths with this group is there is real competition within it and that Matt is able to slot in to any role and we will not lose anything.

"However the team sprint that won in Mexico earned their place and Simon's performance at the national championships demanded his selection."

No women have been selected, with both sprint and endurance athletes focused on the Oceania Championships later in the year as their key qualifying event for a full World Cup campaign in 2014 in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

World champion Alison Shanks was unavailable because of injury.

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