Tokyo Olympics 2020: Hansen-Podmore combo claim World Cup gold

An untried sprint duo of Natasha Hansen and Liv Podmore have staked a claim for next year's Tokyo Olympics with World Cup victory at Cambridge.

The New Zealand track cycling squad is using the three-meet international series to trial different team sprint combinations, with Commonwealth Games silver medallist Emma Cumming battling injury over the past 12 months.

After Podmore and Ellesse Andrews finished 12th at Hong Kong last week, veteran sprinter Hansen was brought in for the NZ event, with dramatic results.

She and Podmore were fastest in qualifying, and became the first Kiwi women to break 33 seconds for the two-lap journey, setting a new national record (32.794s) in the first round.

They couldn't quite match that in the final, but rode fast enough to pip Poland by two-hundredths of a second in 32.877s.

"We've never actually ridden this combination before in a World Cup and I haven't ridden a team sprint since January, just with injuries and things like that," said Hansen.

"There was a strong sense of pressure amongst the whole squad for the last week, so it was really nice for us to be able to execute a strong ride under all that pressure."

Their success followed that of the women's pursuit team, which hacked four seconds off their national record and finished within half a second of the world mark in beating world champions Australia.

Among the men, former world champions Eddie Dawkins, Ethan Mitchell and Sam Webster shuffled their usual order to finish third in the team sprint, while the pursuit line-up of Regan Gough, Dylan Kennett, Jordan Kerby and Aaron Gate also mounted the podium's bottom step.