Six for Sykes as records fall at national track cycling championships

Road, Track & Cyclocross
Amelia Sykes1 v2

Christchurch rider Amelia Sykes claimed six elite titles in a stunning display across a range of events at Cycling New Zealand’s elite national track championships at Invercargill.

Sykes, who has been training with the high performance squad, dominated the endurance events, claiming victory in the 3000m individual pursuit final in 3:37.530 and the points race, dominating with 41 points and the only rider to collect 20 bonus points for lapping the field.

She also joined her Canterbury team to win the combined team pursuit title and claimed the scratch and elimination honours.

The Christchurch rider showed her outstanding range of abilities, winning the championship honours in the 500m time trial in a slick 36.177s and joined Mya Anderson and Ciara Kelly to win the team sprint final. She even qualified for the keirin semifinals.

National squad sprinter Shaane Fulton from Nelson prevailed in the keirin final over Anderson and Nicole Marshall from Southland, and took out the sprint championship final against Marshall in two straight rides.

Another Canterbury hopeful Meghan Baker impressed across a range of talents in the Under-19 category, winning the 500m time trial and the keirin final over Jodie Blackwood from Counties Manukau.

Baker was equally impressive in endurance racing, claiming the national title in the 2000m individual pursuit in 2:24.062 over G-Force rider Caitlin Kelly, and the scratch race.

The points race went to fellow Canterbury teammate Kirsty Watts in a close battle with Georgia Simpson (Manawatu) and Kelly, who prevailed in the elimination.

The sprint title went to Blackwood over Baker, after topping qualifying in 11.723s.

Another outstanding Canterbury prospect, Shaylah Sayers was dominant in the under-17 category with five titles. She won the elimination, the individual pursuit, points race, scratch race and joined with Jesse Thomson to claim the madison ahead of the Tasman pairing.

Hometown rider Riley Faulkner from Southland emerged in sprint competition, winning the 500m time trial in 36.329 just ahead of Sayers and was fastest in sprint qualifying in 12.151s, although Nelson rider Mikaela MacDonald was too good in the sprint final, winning in two straight rides.

The G-Force pairing on Emily Forsyth and Zadie Scott took out the team sprint honours.

The Under-15 class completed a superb effort from Canterbury, with Lily Keast winning six titles across the board including the team sprint with Crawford, and 500m time trial, before moving to endurance with national titles in the elimination race, the derby, points race and scratch to show her potential talents.

It was a different story in the elite men’s competition with a range of national titleholders emerging.

Tokyo Olympian Callum Saunders topped qualifying in the sprint with a superb 10.057s from Te Awamutu’s Patrick Clancy in 10.23. Saunders prevailed in two rides over the Te Awamutu rider in the final and went on to win the keirin final over Clancy and Nelson’s Kaio Lart.

Counties Manukau’s Luke Blackwood, a member of the national team to last year’s junior world championships, moved into the elite class to win the 1000m time trial in 1.02.994, while fellow world’s teammate and club mate, Edward Pawson took out the 40000m individual pursuit title in 4:25.985 over Te Awamutu’s Oliver Watson-Palmer.

Watson-Palmer scored his first elite honours winning the scratch race and the elimination over sprinter Lart.

The race of the championship was the elite men’s points race won by Southland’s Hayden Strong, brother of World Tour rider Corbin Strong.

He won the early sprints before fellow Southlander Hunter Gough struck back with three sprints, with the title open going into the double points final sprint. Strong prevailed to claim the overall honours over Gough by just three points with Watson-Palmer third.

Tasman prevailed in the team competition with Jaxson Russell, Liam Cavanagh and Reuben Webster winning the team sprint and a Tasman composite team taking out the team pursuit over Southland.

Southand’s Marshall Erwood emerged in the under-19 category, winning the 1000m time trial in 1:03.541, the scratch race over Te Awamutu’s Maui Morrison and the elimination.

G-Force rider from Southland, Liam Ramsey won the sprint final over Canterbury’s Wolf Pene 2-0 after topping qualifiers in 10.809s.

Otago’s James Gardner won the individual pursuit over Erwood, and the points race, winning on countback after both finished on 21 points.

In the Under-17 division, Te Awamutu rider Alex Schuler won the sprint honours, topping qualifiers in 11.195s and beating David Kwon (Counties Manukau) 2-0 in the final, and claimed the 500m time trial in 32.832, a new national record.

The individual pursuit went to Jamie Cantell-Roberts (Counties Manukau), while teammate Hunter Dalton won the elimination.

G-Force enjoyed a strong competition with Finn Edwards winning the points race and scratch race, while Counties Manukau won the team pursuit and the team sprint.

A highlight came in the under-15 racing when Te Awamutu rider Carter Paine set a national record of 35.036s to win the 500m time trial as well as winning the derby. Canterbury’s Riley Crampton took out the points race from Paine and Southland’s Benson Boys, who in turn won the scratch race.

The points race went to Canterbury’s Riley Crampton when he outlasted Paine and Boys.

Alex Botha (Counties Manukau) claimed the elimination, while the Te Awamutu pair of Paine and Henderson claimed the team sprint.

In Para-cycling action, Elizabeth Gasson impressed in the C1-5 500m time trial in 46.274 and the 3000m individual pursuit in 4:56.149.

In the men C1-5 Connor Douglas claimed the 1000m time trial in 1:08.139 while Ben Westenberg from Tauranga went 4:40.742 to claim the 4000m individual pursuit in a new national record, while Counties Manukau rider Cameron Davies clocked 4:26.686 in the C1-3 3000m individual pursuit.

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