Cycling: Campbell Stewart, Aaron Gate claim madison silver at world champs

Campbell Stewart and Aaron Gate have added to New Zealand's medal tally on the final day of the track cycling world championships in Berlin on Monday (NZ time). 

The pair won silver in the 200-lap, 50km men's madison, finishing behind all-conquering Danish duo Michael Morkov and Lasse Norman Hansen.

The Danes gained a lap on the rest of the field to be crowned world champions, finishing with 62 points, with New Zealand on 33 and champions Germany taking bronze with 32. 

Denmark's win was more impressive because Morkov was caught up in the coronavirus scare that shut down the UAE Tour and left the world's best rider in quarantine. 

New Zealand cyclists Shane Archbold, Jack Bauer and James Mitri were among those caught up in the incident.

Governing body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) cleared Morkov to compete in Berlin on Saturday, after 34 hours in isolation.

Campbell Stewart and Aaron Gate.
Campbell Stewart and Aaron Gate. Photo credit: Photosport

"It's been a wave," Morkov told reporters. "Two days ago, I was afraid I would not even participate in the event here." 

This year's world championships represented the last chance for track specialists to put down a marker for the Tokyo Olympics

New Zealand finished eighth on the medal table, with one gold and two silvers. 

Southland teen Corbin Strong won gold in the men's points race, while New Zealand's other silver came in the men's pursuit, losing to Denmark. 

Meanwhile, a new World League will make its debut on the track cycling calendar in the 2021-22 season, as the UCI hopes to attract larger TV audiences with a fast-paced, short format.

The league, which will run from November 2021 to February 2022, will have six rounds, with each running for about two hours.

The competition programme will feature four events for men and women - individual sprint, keirin, elimination race and scratch race.

Athletes will wear jerseys inspired by their national flags, while reigning world champions for each event will wear rainbow jerseys.

As part of a revamped track cycling calendar, the UCI said a Nations Cup would replace the multi-race World Cup format, with three rounds held between March and September.

The world championships will move from their traditional February start to October.