TA Sports cyclists excel at Oceanias
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.