Published Friday 03 August 2012

The New Zealand men’s team pursuit squad are still in with a good chance of a medal at the Olympic velodrome.
The squad of Sam Bewley, Westley Gough, Marc Ryan and Jesse Sergent recorded 3min 57.607s to finish third in the qualifying round, behind Great Britain, who set a world record, and Australia.
The New Zealanders will now ride off against Australia, with the winner to contest the gold medal ride. If the New Zealanders lose to Australia, they will need to be among the next fastest qualifiers to get themselves a ride for the bronze.
The Olympic velodrome has already proved super-fast and the British team pursuiters made the most of the conditions. Their time of 3min 52.499s knocked nearly a second off their own world record. Australia showed their quality in finishing second in 3min 55.694s, despite dropping a man relatively early in the journey.
After New Zealand, Denmark recorded the fourth fastest time, with 3min 58.298. The Danes and Britain will meet in the other semi-final.
The other New Zealand cyclists in action today, Ethan Mitchell, Eddie Dawkins and Simon van Velthooven, ended up leaving the velodrome empty-handed, but could be proud of their efforts.
The New Zealanders, ranked fifth in the world, managed a slightly disappointing 44.175s in the sprint qualifying round, which was only the seventh fastest. That meant they faced France, the second fastest, in the first round proper.
France were too good, winding up for a sizzling 42.991s effort, but the New Zealanders chopped 0.3s off the national record with their 43.495s. Mitchell rode an outstanding first lap – the second-fastest of all the first-lappers. The sprint team maintained their No 5 world ranking.
The British men look strong gold medal hopes in the team sprint, too. They set a world record of 42.747s in the first round, to the delight of the strongly parochial home crowd.