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NZ cycling team sprinters fastest in LA

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/02/2017

New Zealand's accomplished team sprint trio have topped qualifiers at the final World Cup track cycling meet in Los Angeles.

World champions Sam Webster, Ethan Mitchell and Eddie Dawkins were fastest on the opening day of the three-day meet, clocking 43.588 seconds.

It was nearly half a second quicker than second seeds Germany.

A new qualifying system introduced this year means the fastest eight teams advance through to the first round, on Monday (NZT).

New Zealand, who are paired against Russia, will need to post one of the two fastest times to ride for gold.

In the day between rides, Mitchell and Webster will contest the individual sprint competition.

Meanwhile, the Kiwi women's team pursuit of Rushlee Buchanan, Michaela Drummond, Jaime Nielsen and Racquel Sheath posted the second-fastest time in qualifying

Rio Olympic silver medallists the United States were quickest, 1.5sec ahead of the Kiwis, who managed 4:22.490.

New Zealand will face Canadians in the semi-finals on Sunday, with USA and Italy squaring off in the final.

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