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Kiwi sprint trio grab cycling gold

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/02/2017

New Zealand's Olympic silver medal-winning sprint trio have dominated Germany to win gold at the track cycling World Cup in Los Angeles.

In their first World Cup outing of the year, Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins clocked 43.710 seconds to Germany's 43.974.

The trio had earlier recorded the fastest qualifying time, their 43.620 seconds beating Germany by 0.3sec to top the second round.

The Kiwi trio will now concentrate on building up to defend their title at the world championships in Hong Kong in April.

Webster had earlier finished 10th in the keirin, doing well to avoid getting tangled up in a crash which wiped out Korea's Chaebin Im and Kwesi Browne (Trinidad).

In the women's madison, Racquel Sheath and Michaela Drummond launched an audacious late run to win the double-points final sprint and secure silver overall behind Australia.

Amy Cure and Alex Manly took gold on 20 points, with the Kiwis second just one point astray.

New Zealand's Campbell Stewart and Thomas Sexton came close to gold in the men's madison after leading going into the final sprint.

However, Irish pair Felix English and Mark Downey put a lap on the field to secure double bonus points and steal the win with 57 points, while Denmark's Julius Johansen and Casper Pedersen took silver with 45 to the Kiwis' 44.

Waikato's Jaime Nielsen finished third in the women's 3000m individual pursuit, clocking 3min 34.056sec to edge Poland's Justyna Kaczkowskna for bronze.

The four medals add to the five New Zealand had earlier claimed in Los Angeles, including a silver in the women's team pursuit.

Rushlee Buchanan, Drummond, Nielsen and Sheath comfortably beat Canada to set up a final against Olympic silver medallists the United States.

The Kiwi quartet were three seconds quicker in the final, clocking 4min 24.619sec but that was more than 4sec slower than the outstanding host combination, which snatched the early lead and gradually pulled clear over the 4000m event.

Campbell Stewart also bagged a silver in the omnium while there were bronze medals to Webster in the individual men's sprint, Natasha Hansen in the keirin and Tom Sexton in the scratch race.

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