Canterbury's Olivia Podmore lived up to her pre-race favourite's tag to take out the under 17 Girls sprint in style last night at the 2013 Age Group Track Cycling Championships in Invercargill.
Podmore, who set the fastest time in qualifying, was untroubled in claiming her second gold of the championships, taking the final two-straight over Auckland's Bryony Botha who claimed silver. West Coast North Island's Michaela Drummond took the bronze over Southland's Emma Cumming.
Podmore also featured prominently in the under 17 points race final, winning the final sprint to confirm second place behind Holly White of Auckland who claimed the first two sprints in a well-timed solo break to sew up the gold medal early. Michaela Drummond (West Coast North Island) took bronze courtesy of her third place finish in the final sprint.
The Under 17 boys points final proved to be another great spectacle with Campbell Stewart and Lachie McGregor fighting all the way to the final few metres. In the end, Stewart added yet another national title to his spectacular young career, winning the final sprint to draw level with Otago's McGregor on points and take the overall win. Max Jones (Canterbury) finished third.
Russell Scott and Steve Chapman continued their duel in the Masters 3 Men. This time Aucklander Scott had the legs on his Wellington opponent to take gold in the Scratch Race final. At the other end of the age scale, Christine Lambley (Canterbury) took out the Under 15 Scratch race final ahead of Shaane Fulton (Tasman) and Jenna Merrick (Auckland). Meanwhile Canterbury's Josh Scott powered his way to gold in the Under 15 derby final ahead of Southland's Kain Bowles and Auckland's William Young.
The evening also featured the Masters Men's keirin and, for the first time, the Masters Women's keirin finals. Justin Stott took out the Men's race to beat defending champion Mike White (Southland) in to second with Mid South Canterbury's Craig Domigan taking bronze. In the inaugural women's final, Southland's Kylea Gough snuck in front of Jacqui Dearlove down the final straight to take the inaugural Masters Women's title with Nicola Stevens completing the Southland trifecta in third.
Southland's Garry Smith was delivered to the finish line perfectly by team mate Jerard Stock and repaid his lead-out with victory in the Masters 2 Men Scratch race final. Canterbury's Wayne Eyre took silver, just ahead of Southlandss Ant Leathart.
The final event of the night, the Elite Women's omnium Elimination race was marred by a nasty crash which brought three of the leading riders down when the race was down to five. Ultimately, it both West Coast North Island's Cassie Cameron and Otago's Alysha Keith withdrew from the competition after bravely rejoining the race to complete the elimination.
Racquel Sheath (Auckland) took the final sprint out to take the win over Jaime Nielsen (Waikato-Bay of Plenty), who also came down in the crash, with Liz Steel claiming third. At the end of the first day of the two-day event, Nielsen leads on 6 points, just one ahead of Steel and Sheath on 7 each.
The championships concludes with the final day of the Elite Omnium and Team Pursuit and Team Sprint and the Masters 1 Men scratch race final.
For full information visit www.cyclingsouth.org.nz/tracknationals