The fledgling New Zealand women's cycling team stunned the
competition to grab gold in the team pursuit at the World Cup
cycling in Beijing today.
The trio of Alison Shanks, Kaytee Boyd and Lauren Ellis set
the second fastest time in the world for the 3000m with a
superb 3:24.421 in beating hosts China in the final at the
It is the first time this combination has ridden together in
competition, with women's pursuit only added to the world
championship programme last year.
World champions Great Britain, who did not compete in force
at Beijing, clocked 3:22.425 to win the title in Manchester
last year with a combination including the Olympic gold and
silver individual pursuit medallists.
The New Zealand trio, headed by World Cup gold medallist in
the individual pursuit Shanks, includes Ellis from Ashburton,
who is just out of the junior ranks, and former mountainbiker
Boyd of Auckland.
Earlier they topped the qualifiers in 3:28.044 from China,
Lithuania and Russia.
National track coach Tim Carswell said the performance had
"They were brilliant. It's very exciting and the girls are
naturally absolutely stoked," Carswell said.
The win also means that New Zealand leads the World Cup
"We talked coming in here at the hope that we could go under
3min 30 sec at Beijing and possibly go under 3:25 at the
world championships. We have bowled that already and will
have to reset our sights. If we can improve further, they we
can push for a medal in Poland."
Carswell said he had been delighted with how the combination
"They have worked exceptionally hard in the last 10 weeks
that's for sure.
"I think we are in for an exciting time because this
combination are just starting, plus we have some others back
home who will be pushing hard for places."
Carswell said Shanks had been the leader in Beijing and was
fizzing to have other women in the programme.
"Lauren is a young rider with immense potential who was our
strongest rider in the young team we took to the Melbourne
Boyd had been the surprise package, coming out of BikeNZ's
Power to Podium talent identification programme.
"I thought that may be by next year we might see her really
develop," Carswell said.
"While she has good skills from her background in BMX and
mountainbiking, she only got on a track bike for the first
time a few weeks ago.
"It is remarkable to think that 10 weeks ago she sat on a
track bike for the first time and now she is a world cup gold
medallist. How exciting is that?"
Carswell said the women's team pursuit gold had set the seal
on an outstanding campaign and now the whole group were
focusing on the final build-up to the world championships in
The team finished with four gold medals, Shanks and Jesse
Sergent picking up one apiece in the individual pursuit,
Hayden Godfrey taking the scratch race, and the women's team
pursuit winning today. The men's team pursuit picked up
The campaign finished with the pairing of Marc Ryan and
Godfrey finishing fifth in the madison. They were part of
group of five that put a lap on the field but then Australian
stole a further lap to take the overall honours while the New
Zealanders won the penultimate sprint but could not repeat it
in the final sprint to sneak on to the podium.
While world super powers Great Britain and Australia were not
in Beijing in full strength, the performances from New
Zealand give an indication they are continuing to build on
the successes at the Olympics as they push forward to next
year's Commonwealth Games, the 2012 London Olympics and
New Zealand results, day 3:
Women's team pursuit, final, 3000m: New Zealand (Alison
Shanks, Lauren Boyle, Kaytee Boyd) 3:24.421 1, China 3:29.750
2, Russia 3:29:889 3, Lithuania 3:31.556.
Qualifying: New Zealand 3:28.044 1, China 3:32.912 2,
Lithuania 3:33.025 3, Russia 3:33.975 4.
Men's sprint: Simon Van Velthooven 10.846 29, Hayden Godfrey
Men's madison, 20km: Australia 2 laps 1, Great Britain 13
points 1 lap 2, Germany 9 points 1 lap 3, Spain 8 points 1
lap 8, New Zealand (Marc Ryan, Hayden Godfrey) 5 points 1 lap