New Zealander Simon van Velthooven has claimed a silver medal
in the kilo time trial at the UCI Track Cycling World
Championships in Belarus this morning.
The Olympic bronze medallist finished 0.648 seconds behind
Frenchman Francois Pervis, who finally won his first world
title in the event after finishing on the podium in five of
the last six years. Germany's Johann Eilers was in third.
The Manawatu rider who was ranked No 1 going into the race
took out a bronze at the same event at last year's World
Championships in Melbourne.
Riding last in the event, the pressure was on the New
Zealander after Pervis set a blistering time.
"It was great out there today. I knew I was on a good time
but I didn't feel sensational," van Velthooven said.
"It's a really nice track and a huge arena. They've put on a
great show here but the person that beat me rode a
sensational time and I think that's a sea level world record
so to come out after seeing that was a little bit daunting
but I knew it could be beaten and unfortunately I didn't beat
it but I put it all out there and I'm still very happy with
my silver medal."
Fellow New Zealander Eddie Dawkins finished in eighth place.
Van Velthooven said his strategy was to race as hard as
"To be honest I just go as hard as I can, that's the reason
they call me the Rhino. It wasn't very conservative, it was
me going as hard as I could it's just that Francois is such a
good starter. I do need to work on my start, working on my
start does benefit my team sprint but as you could see my
third and fourth laps were my fastest - that's my strong
"I do love the lactate tolerance side of it and really
hurting myself. That's probably half the reason I like doing
the kilo - is the pain involved."
Van Velthooven next races in the keirin, an event which he
finished third at the London Games last year. He said the
small New Zealand team in Minsk are all confident of
performing well enough to get on the podium.
"Coming here we all looked at each other and agreed we could
all win medals this week, let alone world titles. It's a
great start ... the boys will be itching to race over the
next couple of days."