Andrews, Webster turn up speed as teenage cycling talent impresses

Road & Track
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Top qualifiers and Tokyo Olympians Ellesse Andrews and Sam Webster proved the queen and king of speed on the second day of the Cambridge 3 Day Carnival at the Avantidrome in Cambridge.

Andrews, who set a personal best in qualifying, dominated fellow Waikato BOP rider Olivia King in the semifinal in two straight rides but had to fight off the strong challenge from fellow Vantage Elite Team rider Shaane Fulton (Tasman) in a third deciding ride in the final.

“I’ve loved getting back in the race-day mindset and putting all the work from training into play. It’s a good opportunity to test myself and gauge where I am at physically with some hard and fast racing,” said Andrews.

“Being back racing after a block of no events due to Covid has been great,” said Andrews. “The more we are all exposed to quality sprint racing, the better for personal and squad development, alongside growth of women’s sprinting as a whole too.”

Webster, who went within 0.007s of his national record in qualifying, accounted for former BMX rider Jayden Fleming in the quarter finals and the well-performed Southland rider Bradly Knipe in the semifinals, both in two straight rides. The Commonwealth Games sprint gold medallist showed his class to claim the title over fellow Olympic teammate Sam Dakin (Auckland) 2-0 in the final.

“It was good to hold this over two days and get the mindset around qualifying and then coming back the next day for racing as the sprint competition is over three days in Tokyo,” said Webster. “Backing up each day is important and it was good to see five riders under 10 seconds in qualifying.”

Regan Gough edged out his fellow Vantage Elite track mates Kiaan Watts and Campbell Stewart to win the men’s elimination race, while US-based Aucklander Olivia Ray, fresh from her win in the Vantage Criterium Championships, won in the women’s elimination race.

The Vantage National Championship focus was on the under-19 riders who competed over the four-discipline omnium where brilliant young Canterbury rider Jenna Borthwick continued her outstanding performances. After winning five individual titles at the national championships pre-covid, Borthwick recently won the Vantage National Criterium title.

While the pandemic cost her any chance of competing at the 2020 Junior World Championships, Borthwick impressed with a win in the scratch race, second in the tempo, and wins in the elimination race and the final points race. She finished on 146 points ahead of her fellow Canterbury riders Amelia Sykes and Charlotte Spurway, with the trio finishing top three in all four races.

“I felt quite confident coming in here and that my legs were feeling pretty good for racing. And it was good to be back competing on the track,” said Borthwick.

“We do lots of racing against each other and that helps all of us to improve we have different coaches, but we get to race each other regularly in Canterbury which really improves us all.”

Waikato Bay of Plenty Hub rider Zakk Patterson took out the male under-19 omnium in a tight battle over Auckland’s Joel Douglas and Southland’s Mitchel Fitzsimons.

Patterson won the scratch race and elimination while Douglas won the tempo race and Fitzsimons finished top three in the first three races. It left Patterson with a slender two-point advantage over Douglas and Fitzsimons going in the points race where he picked up points in six of the eight sprints to edge ahead. Douglas won the final double-points sprint to edge out Fitzsimons for second.

In Under-17 racing Auckland’s Nate Boness claimed wins in the scratch race and Elimination, while Waikato BOP’s Seanna Gray won the scratch, tempo and elimination races.

Auckland’s Sarah Ellington produced two excellent rides in the Para-cycling 3000m individual pursuit while Waikato BOP’s Devon Briggs won the men ahead of Nick Blincoe (Auckland) and Ben Westenberg (Waikato BOP) and Mitchell Wilson (WBOP) took out the tandem.

Results. Day 2:


Vantage New Zealand Under-19 Omnium Championship, Scratch: Jenna Borthwick (Canterbury) 1, Amelia Sykes (Canterbury) 2, Charlotte Spurway (Canterbury) 3. Tempo: Sykes 4 points, 1; Borthwick 3, 2; Spurway 3, 3. Elimination:  Borthwick 1, Spurway 2, Sykes 3. Points: Borthwick 28 points, 1; Sykes 16, 2; Spurway 13, 3. Overall: Borthwick 146 points, 1; Sykes 130, 2; Spurway 123, 3.

Elite: Sprint semifinals: Ellesse Andrews (WBOP) bt Olivia King (WBOP) 2-0; Shaane Fulton (Tasman) bt Emma Cumming (Southland) 2-0. Final: Andrews bt Fulton 2-1. 3rd-4th: Cumming bt King 2-0.

Elimination: Olivia Gray (Auckland) 1, Ally Wollaston (WBOP) 2, Jessie Hodges (WBOP) 3.

Under-17, Scratch: Seanna Gray (WBOP) 1, Ruby Spring (Auckland) 2, Georgia Simpson (WCNI) 3. Tempo race: Gray 20 points, 1; Simpson 18, 2; Spring 13, 3. Elimination: Gray 1, Emma Blackmore (Auckland) 2, Spring 3. Snowball 3000m: Spring 27 points, 1; Gray 22, 2; Simpson `13, 3.

Para-cycling, 3000m individual Pursuit qualifying: Sarah Ellington (Auckland) 4:23.019, 1. Final: Ellington 4:23.778, 1.


Vantage New Zealand Under-19 Omnium Championship: Scratch: Zakk Patterson (Waikato BOP) 1, Michiel van Heyningen (Canterbury) 2, Mitchel Fitzsimons (Southland) 3. Tempo: Joel Douglas (Auckland) 13 points, 1; Fitzsimons 3, 2; Ryan MacLeod (Canterbury) 3, 3. Elimination: Patterson 1, Douglas 2, Fitzsimons 3. Points: Patterson 21 points, 1; Olivia Watson-Palmer (WBOP) 18, 2; Douglas 17, 3. Overall: Patterson 133 points, 1; Douglas 127, 2; Fitzsimons 122, 3.

Under-17 Scratch: Nate Boness (Auckland) 1, Hamish Banks (WBOP) 2, Maui Morrison (WBOP) 3. Tempo: Banks 10 points, 1; Frankie Wright (WBOP) 8, 2; Boness 8, 3. Elimination: Boness 1, Morrison 2, Jack Overweel (WCNI) 3. Snowball 3000m: Wright 27 points, 1; Ryan Hansen (WBOP) 23, 2; Overweel 11, 3.

Elite: Sprint, quarterfinals: Sam Webster (Auckland) bt Jayden Fleming (WBOP), Ethan Mitchell (Auckland) bt Patrick Clancy (WBOP), Sam Dakin (Auckland) bt Jordan Castle (WCNI), Bradly Knipe (Southland) bt Callum Saunders (Tasman). Semifinal: Webster bt Knipe 2-0; Dakin bt Mitchell 2-1. Final: Webster bt Dakin 2-0. 3rd-4th: Knipe bt Mitchell 2-1.

Elimination: Regan Gough 1, Kiaan Watts (WBOP) 2, Campbell Stewart (WCNI) 3.

Para, 4000m individual pursuit final: Devon Briggs (Waikato BOP) 4:50.479, 1; Nick Blincoe (Auckland) 5:18.482, 2Lindsay File (WBOP) 5:25.752, 3 Tandem: Mitchell Wilson (WBOP) 4:37.713, 1.

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