The New Zealand pursuit team trained at the WCC track this week in preparation for the Olympic Games. The squad was joined by UCI WorldTour riders for the first time this season.
Bronze medallists in the team pursuit at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships in March, coach Tim Carswell is "confident" that New Zealand can achieve "at least an equivalent result" at the Olympic Games. In its penultimate Olympic camp before a final gathering in Bordeaux (France), the team trained on the World Cycling Centre (WCC) track in Aigle from Monday to Friday.
The squad was made up of eight riders: seven for the pursuit (including reserves) and one for the omnium (Shane Archbold, a former WCC trainee). The final composition of the group which will compete in London has yet to be announced.
"That was a good week, the riders are in good shape and we had no crashes and no illness," declared Carswell. "We were not worrying about times, we did specific training and made sure the riders had everything they need for the final period".
The Kiwis chose the Aigle velodrome because they know it well (they also trained there last month) and because of its central location (some riders came directly from the Tour des Pays de Savoie).
The training camp was the first opportunity this season for two road professionals from UCI WorldTour teams to take part, namely Jesse Sergent (RadioShack-Nissan) and Sam Bewley (Orica-GreenEdge).
Returning after the Giro dâ€™Italia and a two-week break in New Zealand, Sergent said: "Iâ€™ve had a good recovery after the Giro and I am here to do some efforts. Of course it's tough but it's a good place to start. Iâ€™m getting better and better."
Bewley, fresh from the Tour of Bavaria and Tour of Slovenia, commented: "It's good to be back with the team and get the track legs on. We are all good mates and have fun, which is positive and helps I think".