NZ cyclists top qualifying in team pursuit at track cycling World Cup in Chile

Source: NZN

New Zealand's team pursuit combinations have topped qualifying on the first day of the track cycling World Cup in Chile.

The youthful men's team pursuit outfit, which won gold in Canada last week in 3:59.00, went a second faster to top qualifying at the new Penalolen Velodrome in Santiago.

Nic Kergozou, Jared Gray, Campbell Stewart and Tom Sexton clocked 3:58.071 to finish more than four seconds faster than second-ranked USA.

They opened with a 1:04 first kilometre and followed with three successive 58-second kilometres for a new best time in competition.

The women's combination, who took out the silver medal last week and recorded a season's best 4:22.310, also went considerably faster to lead their qualifying.

Rushlee Buchanan, Kirstie James, Bryony Botha and Racquel Sheath compiled a controlled ride in 4:21.590 to be a second faster than Italy at the top of the rankings.

They recorded a 1:10 opening kilometre, with successive kilo times of 58 seconds, 58 seconds and 59 seconds to be within four seconds of the national record they set in Rio last year.

The women will meet Ukraine in the first round on Sunday (NZT), with the winner progressing to the gold medal ride later in the day, while the men will wait until Monday (NZT) to take on Germany, again with the winner moving to the final.