Dawkins claims medal in World Cup track cycling opener

By CyclingNZ High Performance

Team Sprint World Champion Eddie Dawkins continued his strong early season form with a bronze medal on the final day of the UCI World Cup in Poland.

Dawkins, part of the Vantage New Zealand team contesting the first of five World Cup competitions, beat the top qualifier Harrie Lavreyson (NED) in two straight rides to win the bronze medal.

Earlier Dawkins, who won the overall sprint classification at the London Six-Day event last week, was 11th fastest in qualifying in 9.827s, a tick behind teammate and world sprint silver medallist Ethan Mitchell who clocked 9.821s.

Both won their opening rounds of the match sprint elimination over Melvin Landerneau (FRA) and Theo Bos (NED) respectively.

Mitchell lost out in the round of eight to Ryan Owens (GBR) by 8/100th of a second but Dawkins took out talented Dutch rider Jeffrey Hoogland to advance.

Dawkins then overcame Ukraine’s Andrii Vynokurov in a torrid battle with his opponent relegated in the third and deciding race. However the big Kiwi lost in two straight rides in the semifinal to local star Mateusz Rudyk before bouncing back to beat off top qualifier Lavreyson in the ride for the bronze medal.

Earlier the young sprint paring of Emma Cumming and Olivia Podmore finished seventh in their debut together in the women’s team sprint. They drew the world medallists Russia in their first round to clock 33.736s, which put them seventh fastest. Germany, the world champions, took out the final.

Podmore was back in action in the keirin, finishing second in her opening heat to progress, but lost out in the semifinal. She finished 12th overall.

Debutant Jessie Hodges was 14th fastest in the women’s 3000m individual pursuit in a time of 3:48.133, with top qualifier Justyna Kaczkowka from hosts Poland going on to win the gold medal over Annemiek van Vleuten (NED).

The second World Cup competition is this weekend in Manchester.

Men Sprint qualifying: Harrie Lavreyson (NED) 9.649, 1; Mateusz (POL) 2, Andrii Vynokurov (UKR) 9.755, 3. Also: Ethan Mitchell (NZL) 9.821, 10; Eddie Dawkins (NZL) 9.827, 11.

First round: Mitchell bt Theo Boss (NED), Dawkins bt Melvin Landerneau (FRA). Second round: Mitchell lost to Ryan Owens (GBR), Dawkins bt Jeffrey Hoogland (NED). Quarterfinal: Dawkins bt Vynokurov 2-1, Semifinal: Dawkins lost to Rudyk 2-0, 3rd-4th: Dawkins bt Lavreysen 2-0. 1st-2nd: Mathew Glaetzer (AUS) bt Rudyk (2-1).

CAPTION: Eddie Dawkins in action on the final day of the UCI Track World Cup in Poland.
The images are free for editorial use only. Credit Guy Swarbrick.
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