Wollaston, Gough shine at Cambridge event

It proved a double-double for riders Ally Wollaston and Regan Gough on the final day of the Cambridge Carnival yesterday.

Wollaston and Gough, who won individual national titles in the four-race omnium on Saturday, paired with Jesse Hodges and Tom Sexton respectively to dominate the gruelling two-rider madison national titles at the Grassroots Trust Velodrome yesterday.

Wollaston, who recently returned from a season racing on the road in Europe, showed the benefits as she ventured back on the track last week.

She paired with Olympian and fellow Waikato rider Hodges to dominate the 80-lap contest, winning seven of the eight sprints including the double point final sprint to finish with 63 points, 40 points ahead of the closest rivals.

The pairing of Michaela Drummond, another rider back in New Zealand from a successful season on the road in Europe, and Olympic reserve Nicole Shields finished second in the final sprint to nab runners-up overall just ahead of Olympian Bryony Botha and Emma Cumming.

“I hadn’t ridden with Ally for a while and she is such a talented rider that wherever I threw her in, she would probably win the sprint,” Hodges said.

“It has been a while since I’ve raced on the velodrome so that was nice to get the win which was a bonus after the omnium yesterday.”

The Black Spokes duo of Gough and Sexton settled into their 120-lap madison by winning five of the first eight sprint laps, determined every 10 laps, but saved their big push to the final 20 laps.

At that point they put a lap on the field to push their well clear, winning with 59 points ahead of Nick Kergozou and Daniel Bridgwater, who won the final sprint to grab second place just two points ahead of Hugo Jones and Carne Groube.

“It is a cool title to have,’’ Sexton said.

‘‘I thoroughly enjoy it. It has always been hotly contested over the years and New Zealand has shown that with the class we have got.

‘‘It was an awesome race. Everyone went out there and fed it to each other.”

Gough knew the final 30 laps would be challenging.

“We bided our time and picked up points when available and then took our chance when it came,” Gough said.

“Yesterday (Saturday) was the first national title in about 10 years so to get two in two days is quite good. Cool to get out and race with Tommy.

‘‘We have raced a lot in the past but it has been a while which was a lot of fun.”

In other racing, Olympian Sam Dakin stamped his class on the field to dominate the keirin final, while the under-17 finals went to the Southland duo of Finn Edwards and Caitlin Kelly.

The para cycling trio of Lindsay File, Devon Briggs and Nick Blincoe combined with an impressive effort in a team sprint, clocking 58.309sec.

The focus turns back to the road with the national criterium championships in Christchurch on January 16 then the national road championships in Cambridge on February 11-13.

 

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