Spectators were treated to some fantastic sprint racing at the Avantidrome on Sunday afternoon at The Bikery Café Cambridge Sprint Wars track cycling event. Top New Zealand Elite and Junior Sprinters went head to head in competition including a Flying 200m for qualification and two match sprint rounds to find the best all-round sprinters before squaring off again in the Keirin.
Rio Olympians lead the way with Eddie Dawkins recording a scorching 9.879s for the 200m which at 72.88km/hr is the fastest 200m ever recorded by a New Zealand rider in New Zealand. Sam Webster and Ethan Mitchell rounded out the top 3 in qualification with Rio Sprinter Olivia Podmore also recording a Personal Best time in 11.247 (64.02 km/hr). The combination of hard training and good conditions lead to several more Personal Best times in Qualification from all sprinters in the newly established Waikato Bay of Plenty Performance Hub with Sam Dakin leading the way in the men with 10.294s.
In the match sprint rounds, Ethan Mitchell prevailed in the final over Eddie Dawkins in the A final and Sam Webster showing Zac Williams how it’s done in the B final. Olivia Podmore showed her experience in beating young up and coming rider Shaane Fulton in the best-of-three final to decide the top female sprinter.
In the hotly contested Keirin finals, Jordan Castle took out the A final with Waikato Bay of Plenty Performance Hub rider Sam Dakin in 2nd and Rio Olympian Zac Williams in 3rd. The B final went to NZ Junior Team rider Thomas Garbett from Olivia Podmore and Waikato Bay of Plenty Performance Hub rider Tess Young in 3rd place.
Event organiser Jon Andrews said the event was a great success with many riders continuing on to represent New Zealand at the Oceania Games in Melbourne in early December. The racing provided an opportunity for a final tune up and to sharpen tactical and technical skills leading into the Oceania Games and the New Zealand Championships in February.