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Sergent and Shanks dominate pursuit finals

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Alison Shanks (New Zealand)

Alison Shanks (New Zealand) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jesse Sergent (New Zealand)

Jesse Sergent (New Zealand) (Image credit: Greg Chang)

World champion Alison Shanks and fellow pursuiter Jesse Sergent announced their readiness for next week's Melbourne World Cup after they claimed the respective women's and men's individual pursuit titles on the opening night of the Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Invercargill.

Shanks was untroubled catching World Championship team pursuit teammate Lauren Ellis in the final of the women's 3000m individual pursuit at the ILT Velodrome.

Sergent proved too strong for his Beijing Olympic teammate Peter Latham to take out the men's pursuit final over 4000m.

Both winners believe the Championships have kick-started their international season ahead of next week's International Cycling Union (UCI) World Cup in Melbourne.

Shanks, in her first competition since winning the World Championship in March, was ahead throughout her final, although a fast time was thwarted when she was forced to work hard around the bend to pass Ellis.

"It felt pretty smooth. The first half I wanted to ride my own race and it was good to have Lauren as a bit of a carrot, but when I stepped out to pass her she was not going to give up easily and it was a real battle to get around her," Shanks said.

"That cost me some time, but while a fast time would have been nice, it was all about winning the gold medal. That's what's important tonight.

"It's definitely a stepping stone towards next week. It's back to training tomorrow before heading away on Sunday. It was a good hit out to remind the body and the mind what pursuiting is all about."

Rushlee Buchanan beat off Kaytee Boyd for third.

Sergent, fourth in the World Championships last year, clocked an excellent 4:20.678 to dominate the final over Peter Latham. He opened out the lead from the start with a 1:09 first kilometre before reeling off three consistent laps for the victory.

He said the pursuit had been a battle for all members of the BikeNZ track squad, who had competed in the Tour of Southland that finished on Saturday.

"I really wanted to go under 4:20 tonight so that was a good time. The initial goal was to win and then to get a good time, so I'm pleased with how it turned out," Sergent said.

"It's encouraging. I felt a lot better tonight than this morning. Every bit of recovery is important coming off the Tour. By the time we hit Melbourne we will all be fully recovered and going quickly.

"I'd like to go under 4:20 in Melbourne although you don't really know. It depends on how the track is running."

Sam Bewley beat off the challenge from Marc Ryan for the bronze medal.

NZ edge out Australia in men's team sprint

Earlier, the New Zealand combination of Andrew Williams, Eddie Dawkins and Simon Van Velthooven edged out their Australian rivals to claim the men's team sprint.

Van Velthooven, who has been based at the ILT Velodrome for several months, showed his class to come from behind to nab the narrowest of wins. The big sprinter did the same in the morning to edge out World junior team sprint Champion Ethan Mitchell in the semi-final to give the New Zealand team a spot in the final.

He was behind again in the final but cranked up a big gear to win in a new national record of 45.693, with the Australians just 2 hundredths of a second behind behind.

The G-Force combination, including triple World junior Champion Sam Webster, had earlier broken the national record clocking 45.820 in claiming the bronze before the New Zealand team eclipsed that mark.

"I didn't know we were behind. I just had my head down and was riding as hard as I could," Van Velthooven said. "That's my strength to hold the speed over the last lap. I've been down here since October working on my big gear speed. I was riding 100 gearing tonight in the final, which is the biggest gear I have sprinted with and it paid off.

"I may not be the quickest starter but I am the quickest finisher."

Australian girls pull one back in the women's sprint

In other finals Emily Rosemond took out the women's sprint in two over Stephanie Morton in an all Australian final, while Stephanie McKenzie came from one race down to edge out fellow Auckland native and national record holder Henrietta Mitchell in the under-19 final.

Outstanding Australian sprinter Matthew Glaetzer held out a late challenge from compatriot Jamie Green to win the Under 19 men's keirin final.

Men's 4000m individual pursuit final
1Jesse Sergent (New Zealand)0:04:20.678
2Peter Latham (New Zealand)0:04:28.758
3Sam Bewley (New Zealand)0:04:23.264
4Marc Ryan (New Zealand)0:04:28.020

Women's 3000m individual pursuit final
1Alison Shanks (New Zealand)0:03:35.221
2Lauren Ellis (New Zealand)0:03:44.866
3Rushlee Buchanan (New Zealand)0:03:45.606
4Kaytee Boyd (New Zealand)0:03:45.740

Men's team sprint final
1New Zealand (Andrew Williams, Eddie Dawkins, Simon Van Velthooven)0:00:45.693
2Australia (Daniel Ellis, James Glasspool, Joel Leonard)0:00:45.863
3G-Race (Sam Webster, Ethan Mitchell, Adam Stewart)0:00:45.820
4Otago (Matthew Archbold, Nathan Seddon, Daniel Beatson)0:00:48.253

Women's sprint semi-final 1
1Stephanie Morton (Australia)0:00:12.314
2Natasha Hansen (New Zealand)
1Stephanie Morton (Australia)0:00:12.422
2Natasha Hansen (New Zealand)

Women's sprint semi-final 2
1Emily Rosemond (Australia)0:00:14.146
2Annette Edmondson (Australia)
1Emily Rosemond (Australia)0:00:13.024
2Annette Edmondson (Australia)

Women's sprint final
1Annette Edmondson (Australia)0:00:12.637
2Natasha Hansen (New Zealand)
1Annette Edmondson (Australia)0:00:13.354
2Natasha Hansen (New Zealand)
3Emily Rosemond (Australia)0:00:12.859
4Stephanie Morton (Australia)
3Emily Rosemond (Australia)0:00:12.150
4Stephanie Morton (Australia)

U19 women's sprint semi-final 1
1Henrietta Mitchell (New Zealand)0:00:12.994
2Madison Law (Australia)
1Henrietta Mitchell (New Zealand)0:00:12.623
2Madison Law (Australia)

U19 women's sprint semi-final 2
1Stephanie Mckenzie (New Zealand)0:00:13.937
2Charlotte Kelly (New Zealand)
1Stephanie Mckenzie (New Zealand)0:00:13.008
2Charlotte Kelly (New Zealand)

U19 women's sprint final
1Henrietta Mitchell (New Zealand)0:00:13.055
2Stephanie Mckenzie (New Zealand)
Stephanie Mckenzie (New Zealand)0:00:13.010
Henrietta Mitchell (New Zealand)
Henrietta Mitchell (New Zealand)0:00:13.159
Stephanie Mckenzie (New Zealand)
3Madison Law (Australia)0:00:14.122
4Charlotte Kelly (New Zealand)
Charlotte Kelly (New Zealand)0:00:15.128
Madison Law (Australia)
Madison Law (Australia)0:00:14.201
Charlotte Kelly (New Zealand)

U19 men's points race
1Alexander Edmondson (Australia)44pts
2Jackson Law (Australia)43
3Jack Bennett (Australia)30
4Brad Evans (New Zealand)12
5Fraser Gough (New Zealand)7
6James Northey (New Zealand)
7Hayden Andrew Van Der (New Zealand)
8Brehan Cairns (New Zealand)-20
DNFAlex Frame (New Zealand)1
DNFPieter Bulling (New Zealand)11
DNFDillon Bennett (New Zealand)-40


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