Pass mark for NZ team affected by illness

A rainbow  jersey for Campbell Stewart and two bronze medals signalled a pass mark for the New Zealand team at the UCI track world championships which finished in Poland yesterday.

However, the campaign was adversely affected by illness which swept through the team.

Some riders managed a partial recovery to produce brave efforts to help the cause.

Stewart himself was ill earlier in the week and was sidelined after one ride in the team pursuit but recovered enough to win his omnium world title three days later.

The New Zealand team went to Poland with high hopes but the efforts of the men's sprint team and pursuit team were significantly compromised.

"Overall the medal performances from the women's team pursuit, Tom Sexton in the scratch race and Campbell Stewart in the omnium were excellent and made more special given some riders were recovering from being unwell,'' Cycling New Zealand high performance director, Martin Barras said.

"To focus on this event and then have our fortunes affected by ailments is very disappointing.

"We will come home and complete a full debrief and take some learnings from this.

"We need to ensure that we have done everything in our power to ensure our athletes are fully fit and healthy going to pinnacle events.

"That will include a full look at our racing schedule to see if we allowed our riders to be fully fresh for peak performances in Poland.

"And we will relook at our protocols to ensure we did all we could to isolate and protect our healthy riders when illness was discovered.''

Barras believed another two or three medals were strong possibilities on pure form.

"The positives are that we know the programme is on track although we have much to do. We know we have some riders who did not compete who will come into consideration going forward.

"This was a good hit-out for us against the competition we will come up against in Tokyo so we have a real sense of where the bar is set and be confident that we have riders and teams with the capability to get on to the podium in 2020.''


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