Seven riders place
Seven podium placings without getting to the top step was the lot for the Vantage New Zealand team on the final day of the Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Adelaide.
The championships, with qualifying points for the world championships and Tokyo Olympics, mark the beginning of the international season, with the New Zealand team blooding a number of developing riders and proven elites.
Best in the elite was sprinter Natasha Hansen who finished runner-up to current world sprint silver medallist Stephanie Morton in the individual sprint final. She beat Morton's world champion team sprint partner Kaarle McCulloch in the deciding third ride.
“I was happy with today. I had a good qualifying in the morning. I didn't have the greatest races last night in the keirin so I was pleased to come back tonight and redeem myself,” Hansen said. “Steph is so strong so I was trying the best tactics to upset her but she was too strong at the moment.”
The other elite podium placing went to Subway Performance Hub rider Sam Dakin, third in the keirin final, won by world sprint champion Matthew Glaetzer (AUS).
Dakin won his repechage to earn a start in the semifinal where he was second behind Glaetzer and he produced another strong ride in the final, where teammate Sam Webster was fifth.
Kiwi pairings finished on the podium in both women's and men's Madison races.
World championship omnium bronze medallist, Rushlee Buchanan paired with Michaela Drummond to finish third only six points behind the winners, while Aaron Wyllie and Tom Sexton were second in the men's race.
Canterbury's Laurence Pithie completed an outstanding championship with a silver medal on countback in the junior points race and third in the scratch race after winning the individual pursuit.
Pithie recovered from a crash on day three and bounced back despite battling a sore knee.
“I went hard early and won the first sprint and was second in the next which put me in good stead. I missed the sprints through the mid-part of the race which put me back.
“The final sprint was double points but could only get fourth which left me on the same points as the winner so I had to be second on countback.
Southland's Tyla Green, who won the junior keirin on day three, finished fourth in the individual sprint.
Subway Performance Hub riders Emily Paterson (Southland) and Eva Parkinson (Waikato-BOP) finished second in the junior women's Madison, seven points from the winners.
The Vantage Elite New Zealand team go to the start of the Tissot UCI World Cup competition over the next two weekends in France and Canada.