Young cyclists head to China for UCI Junior Track World Championships

Road, Track & Cyclocross
Caitlin Ker5 v4

Cycling New Zealand has selected a 10-strong teenage team to compete in the UCI Track Cycling Junior World Championships in China in August.

It is the first time the championships have been staged in China, set for the historic city of Luoyang with a civilisation history dating back 5000 years.

The group will call on the experience of five riders returning from last year’s junior world championships in South America.

Three of the four female riders competed in Colombia last year in Southland’s Caitlin Kelly, Canterbury’s Meg Baker and Cambridge-based Jodie Blackwood. They are joined by Southland’s Riley Faulkner.

Kelly was the sole medallist in Cali last year in the keirin, which was the first junior world championship medal in sprint since 2015.

While three of the female quartet are sprint-discipline focussed, with Meg Baker the sole endurance rider, the males are endurance-based in the main.

Cambridge rider Alex Schuler is the sole sprinter, Christchurch rider Matthew Davidson and Southland’s Magnus Jamieson form the returning talent for the 2024 world championship campaign, with Davidson runner-up in the points race at the Oceania Championships, and Jamieson the winner of the elimination race.

They are joined by Oceania Points winner Daniel Morton, who joined with Bernard Pawson to win the Oceania madison title, while a third Auckland rider is talented former BMX Racing international, Lucas Bhimy.

The riders will compete in the upcoming National Track Series and the “Australasean” development competition in Malaysia.

The velodrome in Luoyang is part of an impressive modern sports precinct in this historic city of seven million, which is regarded as the cradle of Chinese civilisation and was the eastern terminus of the famed Silk Road.

The New Zealand team to compete in the UCI Junior Track World Championships in Luoyang from August 21-25 is:

Female: Meg Baker (Christchurch), Jodie Blackwood (Cambridge), Riley Faulkner (Invercargill), Caitlin Kelly (Invercargill). Male: Lucas Bhimy (Auckland), Matthew Davidson (Christchurch), Magnus Jamieson (Invercargill), Daniel Morton (Auckland), Bernard Pawson (Auckland), Alex Schuler (Cambridge).

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