Record medal haul provides promising platform for cycling


Cycling New Zealand are thrilled with their 17 medal-haul, more than a third of the record New Zealand Team record tally at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Cycling’s Commonwealth Games golden trio – the men’s team sprint

Credit: Guy Swarbrick

The cycling tally, with 12 on the track, two in mountain bike and three on the road, bettered the previous best of 15 medals achieved at the 2014 Games in Glasgow.

The medals came from a mix from proven performers and encouragingly from a bevy of emerging talent across track, road and mountain bike.

The three-time world champion men’s Team Sprint trio regained their mojo with a classy performance to claim the gold medal, along with a brilliant display from Sam Webster in defending his title in the individual sprint while Eddie Dawkins was pipped for gold in a stunning 1000m time trial.

Likewise 2015 World Champion Linda Villumsen and rower-turned-cyclist Hamish Bond both podiumed in the time trial.

This was countered with the emergence of burgeoning young riders that most pleased cycling coaches. On the track, teenager Campbell Stewart showed a glimpse of his extraordinary talents with the silver medal in the points race, while Southland 20-year-old Emma Cumming grabbed two medals in the encouraging form from our female sprinters.

The extraordinary abilities of Sam Gaze and Anton Cooper, 22 and 23 years respectively, gave New Zealand another one-two finish in mountain bike as this pair push towards the top of the men’s cross-country world rankings.

There was also delight for 24-year-old Georgia Williams, who has moved from the high performance track programme to the professional World Tour on the road with aplomb, scoring a silver medal in the women’s road race.

“This was a good Games for us with medals across all disciplines,” said Cycling New Zealand High Performance Director, Martin Barras.

“I am particularly excited by the young riders who showed their talents on the big stage. It augers well for our future on the track, the road and in mountain bike.

“This was a litmus test of our progress two years and a bit out from the Tokyo Olympics and we can be satisfied that we have a strong foundation from which to build.

“There is certainly a lot of work to do but the performances over two weeks in Gold Coast, the work that went into preparation and the execution on the day was impressive.”

Barras said Cycling New Zealand will put in place a full review before they put in place their plans through to Tokyo and beyond.

New Zealand track medals:

Gold – Men Team Sprint, Sam Webster (Individual Sprint), Sam Gaze (mountain bike)

Silver – Women team pursuit, Women team sprint, Natasha Hansen (individual sprint), Campbell Stewart (scratch race), Eddie Dawkins (1000m time trial), Campbell Stewart (points race), Anton Cooper (mountain bike), Linda Villumsen (road time trial), Georgia Williams (road race)

Bronze – Dylan Kennett (individual pursuit), Eddie Dawkins (keirin), Emma Cumming (500m time trial), Natasha Hansen (keirin), Hamish Bond (road time trial).