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New Zealand still working on final track worlds lineup

The New Zealand men's team sprint team begins its winning ride.

The New Zealand men's team sprint team begins its winning ride. (Image credit: Vassev Stoyan)

The New Zealand national team head coach Tim Carswell is still working on his final team selections ahead of the UCI World Track Cycling Championships which begin in Copenhagen on Thursday.

Carswell and fellow coaches Dayle Cheatley and Justin Grace are still trying to work out the starters for the various events. "The team has settled in well here. It's a bit of a major exercise getting everything unloaded and set-up, but the track sessions have been very good since we have arrived," Carswell said.

"It is definitely going to be our toughest job to make the final decisions on who will start in the team pursuits, team sprints and some of the individual events because there is so little separating the riders."

The men's sprint team will come from a young group containing junior world champions Sam Webster and Ethan Mitchell, national champion Eddie Dawkins, keirin star Simon Van Velthooven and Commonwealth Games representative Adam Stewart.

Mitchell, Webster and Dawkins set a new national mark of 44.632 in February.

There is no doubt, however, that defending world champion Alison Shanks will seek to repeat last year's performance in the 3000m individual pursuit in the opening session.

Carswell said he is expecting tremendous competition at these world championships.

"Everyone is here. Many of the medallists from Beijing who bypassed last year's worlds are back in Copenhagen including the likes of Chris Hoy.

"We've taken the chance to check out some of the other training sessions and the pursuits in particular, are going to be very, very close between the top teams. They all look very impressive."

Carswell said he is unlikely to experiment with saving a key rider for the medal round in the team pursuits, and will go in with the best squads possible in qualifying.

"We have to nail our best time in the morning qualifying. We won't even concern ourselves about the medal rides until we have made them. So we will have our best combination out there in both the men and women."

He is impressed with the track at Copenhagen, which has been resurfaced for the championships. "It seems quite warm in here and hopefully that temperature will remain up and we will see some fast times.

"The team are raring to go and will put it all on the line here."

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