A 12-strong New Zealand team has been named for track cycling's biggest event of the season, the UCI World Championships in Pruszkow, Poland starting on March 25.
"Alison Shanks is a real strong contender for the individual pursuit for the women, as is Jesse Sergent in the men's. Additionally, both our men's and women's team pursuits will be right in the hunt I'm sure," said team coach Tim Carswell, in a press release.
"Hayden Godfrey is looking to defend his omnium title and the results that he had at the nationals in winning the scratch race, placing third in the points race and second in the kilo means he's right where he needs to be in terms of fitness and strength and power," continued Carswell.
Carswell was impressed with the performances of his riders at the RaboPlus New Zealand Championships in Invercargill with Alison Shanks, Jesse Sergent, Eddie Dawkins and the men's pursuit team all breaking New Zealand records. He is wary, however, of making too many predictions ahead of the world championships.
"Until we actually get there and see everyone that's racing we can't make any bold predictions, " Carswell said. "All the events will be keenly contested so we're not taking anything for granted at all. Certainly we'd hope with what we've done with our riders and the shape they're in they're going to be right in the thick of it."
Sergent and Shanks have already won World Cup gold this year with victories in Beijing in January, as did the women's pursuit team. The men's pursuit team will look to improve on the bronze they won at the Olympics last year.
The New Zealand team will train in Invercargill for the next week before heading to Poland.
New Zealand's team for the track world championships includes: Alison Shanks (ind. & team pursuit), Jamie Neilson(team pursuit), Kaytee Boyd (team pursuit), Lauren Ellis (team pursuit), Jesse Sergent (ind. & team pursuit), Marc Ryan (team pursuit), Pete Latham (team pursuit), Westley Gough (team pursuit), Sam Bewley (team pursuit), Hayden Godfrey (omnium), Eddie Dawkins (sprint) and Simon van Velthooven (sprint).
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