TA Sports cy­clists ex­cel at Ocea­nias

Te Awamutu Courier - - News - BY COLIN THORSEN AND IAN HEPENSTALL

Te Awa­mutu Sports Cy­cling Club riders El­lesse An­drews and Sam Dobbs won elite gold medals and three of their ju­nior club­mates sil­ver at the Ocea­nia Track Cy­cling Cham­pi­onships in Ade­laide.

An­drews, the Hal­berg Emerg­ing Tal­ent win­ner, grabbed her first elite hon­our.

The 18 year old won the women’s 3000m in­di­vid­ual pur­suit ti­tle at the Ade­laide Su­perDrome to head the New Zealand per­for­mances on a day dom­i­nated by the host na­tion.

An­drews, who was sixth at the Com­mon­wealth Games in her first in­di­vid­ual pur­suit over the longer 3000m dis­tance, clocked 3:35.379 to top qual­i­fy­ing in the af­ter­noon and won the fi­nal over Aus­tralia’s Maeve Plouffe in 3:38.380 in the evening.

An­drews started strongly but the Aus­tralian be­gan to close the mar­gin be­fore she re­acted to win with a com­fort­able three-sec­ond mar­gin.

“I am pretty stoked to be hon­est. I have not done an IP for a few months and I was un­sure what I was aim­ing for,” said An­drews. “So to do 3:35 for my first one which is not far off my PB and to back that up with the fi­nals ride just a lit­tle bit slower but get the gold was pretty cool too.

“I knew it was pretty tight and started to press it down with three or four laps to go and man­aged to keep the gaps.”

An­drews said the move to the longer 3000m suited her.

“I quite like it. I ap­proach it very dif­fer­ently and I have to learn to hold the pace and just rip my legs off re­ally. It is good to learn new skills to be able to ride the 3km.”

An­drews also won sil­ver in the elite women’s team pur­suit won by Aus­tralia. The New Zealand line-up was An­drews, Ni­cole Shields, Jessie Hodges, Emily Shear­man.

The New Zealand men’s elite team pur­suit quar­tet of Aaron Wyl­lie, Tom Sex­ton, Sam Dobbs and Harry Waine up­set the Aus­tralia com­bi­na­tion in the fi­nal, stick­ing to their race plan to put the Aus­tralians un­der pres­sure.

They pre­vailed by just half a sec­ond in 4:07.169 af­ter the two teams could not be sep­a­rated for the en­tire 4000m test.

“It was great to come away with the win and great to see the boys come to­gether in only a week to­gether. Sam (Dobbs) has only been back on his bike four weeks and good to have him with us and for him to get through the ride,” said Waine.

Dobbs, who has been fo­cus­ing on the road and just re­turned from a tough sea­son in Europe, was sur­prised with his first ef­fort on the boards.

“I am so stoked to do this with the boys. This was my first ever team pur­suit this morn­ing. It’s great when the plan works out, and I couldn’t be hap­pier,” said Dobbs.

Te Awa­mutu Sports Club’s ju­nior riders Reuben Web­ster, Pa­trick Clancy and Mya An­der­son all re­paid the na­tional se­lec­tors faith in them with sil­ver medal win­ning per­for­mances.

Web­ster said rid­ing the team pur­suit with the New Zealand (ju­nior) team was an un­real ex­pe­ri­ence, topped off by pick­ing up the sil­ver medal.

He was also de­lighted to fin­ish eighth in the om­nium, rat­ing it a huge achieve­ment as the rac­ing was bru­tally fast.

“The scratch race fi­nal, be­ing the last event, was al­ways go­ing to be hard, but to push through the pain and pick up fourth was the best feel­ing.”

Clancy, ap­pear­ing for the sec­ond time at Ocea­nias, won a sil­ver medal in the teams sprint (with Sam Up­ton, Cameron Man­ley) and placed fourth in the kilo.

High­light for Clancy was get­ting the op­por­tu­nity to ride on a dif­fer­ent track in Ade­laide.

An­der­son said she loved the op­por­tu­nity to get to ride at an event with the elites.

“It’s cool to have world cham­pi­ons and Olympic riders to look up to . . . do­ing the ex­act same thing as you are.

“I loved be­ing able to wear the sil­ver fern for the first time . . . it has taken a lot of hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to get there but it is to­tally worth it.

“I was su­per happy with the learn­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence I gained from this event, as well as meet­ing some new faces and mak­ing new friends. Our sil­ver medal in the team pur­suit (with Eva Parkin­son, He­lena Rik­iti, Emily Pater­son) capped off a mem­o­rable meet­ing for us girls.”

New Zealand ju­nior riders from Te Awa­mutu Sports Cy­cling Club to se­cure sil­ver medals at the Ocea­nia Track Cham­pi­onships in Ade­laide, from left: Pa­trick Clancy, Reuben Web­ster, Mya An­der­son.

EL­LESSE AN­DREWS

SAM DOBBS

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