New Zealand cycling team named for Commonwealth Games
New Zealand selectors have leaned on their most recent successes in naming a 14-strong track cycling group to compete at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Twelve of the squad are men, comprising five sprint specialists and seven endurance riders while women's endurance riders Lauren Ellis and Jaime Nielsen were also named on Thursday.
There is the opportunity for others to be nominated to the New Zealand Olympic Committee if they meet target standards, while the road cycling and mountain bike teams are expected to be unveiled in May.
The world champion men's sprint trio of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins headline the track team who have set a target of at least matching the New Zealand record of nine medals won at the 2010 Games in New Delhi.
New Zealand's other cyclists to climb the podium at the world championships in Colombia earlier this year have all been included.
They are points race silver medallist Tom Scully and three bronze medal-winners - Simon van Velthooven (1km time trial), Marc Ryan (individual pursuit) and the men's pursuit team of Aaron Gate, Pieter Bulling, Dylan Kennett and Ryan.
Taupo endurance rider Patrick Bevin is the only cyclist named who didn't compete in either the most recent Olympics or world championships.
Bevin, 22, has impressed since his return from four years of road cycling in the United States. He paired with Scully to win the Madison at the World Cup meet in Mexico in January.
Bike NZ high performance director Mark Elliott says the team have the experience and ability to equip themselves well at what will be a high-standard meet in Glasgow.
Australia are always strong while riders from Great Britain who were so dominant at the London Olympics will split down to their component countries.
Elliott says the women's programme is in a rebuilding phase looking ahead to the 2016 Olympics.
"We are looking to invest in some talented younger riders and want more from some of our more experienced riders," he said.
Elliott said it was likely that some endurance riders, both men and women, will be included in the road race to support the key professional riders.
Track cycling team:
Men's sprint: Matt Archibald, Eddie Dawkins, Ethan Mitchell, Simon van Velthooven, Sam Webster
Men's endurance: Shane Archbold, Patrick Bevin, Pieter Bulling, Aaron Gate, Dylan Kennett, Marc Ryan, Tom Scully
Women's endurance: Lauren Ellis, Jaime Nielsen
source: newshub archive