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Cyclists ready to impress

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/06/2016 Cathy Walshe

Sprint cycling alchemist Anthony Peden is looking for the right mix of performance and potential from his squad when New Zealand contest the two-day German grand prix track meet in Cottbus beginning on Friday.

The four-strong squad, which last month finished their biggest strength phase of the past year, is easing up on volume and intensity in the final two months before Rio.

The world champion men's team sprint will kick start the Olympic track cycling programme with the qualifying rounds and finals on August 11.

Peden says the Cottbus meet should provide a good measuring stick as the Kiwis look to hit their best form at Rio.

"It's the black art of coaching - we look for phases, and what we're trying to get out of each one," he told NZ Newswire.

"We go through maximum strength, then we go into our power and more speed-specific phases.

"We want to be in good condition - not our best, but still good enough that we make the rest of the world stand up and take note."

Peden has had impressive success since taking over the reins as Cycling New Zealand's head sprint coach nearly three years ago.

The men's team sprint have twice won world championship titles, in 2014 and 2016, also picking up gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins' win at the March world championships in London secured them early selection for Rio - along with women's sprinter Natasha Hansen - way back in early April.

Peden needs to make sure the quartet don't peak too soon, but also that they're in sharp enough form to attack the Olympics with confidence.

"We'll keep the athletes a little suppressed - not so much tactically, but more physically," he said.

"Although they'll be in super form, hopefully with a little bit more freshening up and if we get the timing dead right out of our last phase going into Rio, we should be right."

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