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NZ track cyclists encouraged by medal haul

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/04/2017

New Zealand's track cyclists have cast aside the disappointment of the Rio Olympics to finish with a record-equalling five medals at the world championships in Hong Kong.

The Kiwis couldn't added to their haul on the fifth and final day, leaving them level with the medal tally claimed at world championships in Melbourne in 2012 and Cali in 2014.

A dominant Australia topped the meet medal table with 11 but New Zealand were on the second tier, level with powerhouse nations France, Germany, Belgium and Great Britain.

Cycling New Zealand chief executive and acting high performance director Andrew Matheson said the squad was enthused following a post-Olympic review. They won a solitary silver medal in Rio.

"We've seen a good process post Rio to reset some of our thinking, planning and overall programme alignment," Matheson said.

"These championships have been very useful in building a strong platform for the next three years and building some real confidence in our strategies."

The success was led by the men's sprinters, with the team of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins claiming gold for the third time in four years.

Mitchell capped a fine week with New Zealand's first-ever individual sprint medal, a bronze.

Other medals went to Aaron Gate in the new-look omnium and to the men's and women's team pursuit combinations.

The meet closed on Sunday with the men's 1000m time trial and women's points race.

Dylan Kennett, a member of the silver medal winning team pursuit, was sixth in the time trial, just over half a second slower than French winner Francois Pervis.

Racquel Sheath, part of the bronze medal-winning women's team pursuit, finished 14th in the points race won by Great Britain's Elinor Barker.

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