5 Oct 2010


8:54 pm on 5 October 2010

The New Zealand Cycling campaign in Delhi has been marred by controversy, with the two-year banning of Adam Stewart for doping offences.

In September, the 23-year-old was suspended by the Sports Tribunal for possession and attempted use of prohibited substances.

The Cantabrian admitted to two incidents in which he imported three prohibited substances, including the blood booster erythropoietin (EPO). He also admitted to an earlier incident in 2009 where he ordered and received human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), a women's fertility drug. In May, New Zealand Customs intercepted the drugs intended for Stewart.

He is replaced in the team by Auckland's Aaron Gate, 19, who will join the endurance track squad.

Despite the controversy, New Zealand stands a good chance of claiming a podium finish in the cycling competition, with a host of impressive results recorded for the squad in the build-up to the Delhi Games.

In August, Wanganui cyclist Catherine Cheatley, 27, won the USA National Series Championships, tying up the title with a second placing in the final race of the season in New York.

The Thater Memorial Criterium was also successful for fellow Commonwealth teammates Joanne Kiesanowski and 22-year-old Kaytee Boyd, who finished in third and seventh places, respectively.

Kiesanowski, 31, has represented New Zealand at every Olympics and Commonwealth Games event since 2004, while Delhi will be Cheatley's second Commonwealth Games. She finished 53rd in the Road Race at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Hayden Roulston, 29, is one of New Zealand's most successful riders, claiming silver and bronze medals in the individual and team pursuit at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He also holds a silver medal won in the points race at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 and a bronze picked up at Manchester in 2002 in the team pursuit (4000m). Racing professionally for HTC Columbia, Roulston claimed a big win this season, claiming the opening team time trial of the Tour of Spain before withdrawing with a knee injury.

Another New Zealander to enter the professional leagues is 22-year-old Jesse Sergent from Feilding, who has recently been offered a contract with Lance Armstrong's Radioshack, joining his Commonwealth teammate Sam Bewley. Sergent and Bewley, 23, were members of the men's pursuit team that won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Meanwhile, road racer Gordon McCauley has had an ideal build-up to the Commonwealth Games by winning the six-day Tour of Tasmania in September. McCauley, 38, won bronze in the time trial at the 2006 Melbourne Games.

Te Awamutu's Pete Latham, 26, has also had a good season, claiming an important placing and psychological boost ahead of Delhi by finishing third in the final stage of the Aix-en-Provence Tour in France in September. Earlier in the tour, Latham led the New Zealand squad home in the fastest time in the team trial at the start of the four-day race, claiming a yellow jersey.

Two other young riders have also enjoyed international success this year. Shane Archbold, 21, and Myron Simpson, aged 20, recorded wins in kermesse events in Belgium in August. Archbold, from Timaru, finished first in the 120km strong kermesse (criterium) circuit, while Simpson showed his class in winning his 17-lap, 136km event.

Medal hope Gary Henderson decided to withdraw from the Delhi Games in September, citing family and personal reasons.

When and where

The cycling competition is made up of 14 track (eight men and six women) and two road (mass start and time trial) events. The track events will be held at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex from 5-8 October. The road events are scheduled for 10 and 13 October.

NZ team - men

Track: Shane Archbold (Timaru), Sam Bewley (Rotorua), Eddie Dawkins (Invercargill), Westley Gough (Waipukurau), Peter Latham (Te Awamutu), Ethan Mitchell (Auckland), Marc Ryan (Timaru), Jesse Sergent (F eilding), Myron Simpson (Auckland), Simon Van Velthooven (Palmerston North), Sam Webster (Auckland), Aaron Gate (Auckland).

Road: Jack Bauer (Manchester), Greg Henderson (Girona), Gordon McCauley (Auckland), Hayden Roulston (Christchurch), Clinton Avery (Ledegem).

NZ team - women

Track: Kaytee Boyd (Waiuku), Rushlee Buchanan (Te Awamutu), Gemma Dudley (Levin), Lauren Ellis (Hinds), Joanne Kiesanowski (Seattle ), Jaime Nielsen (Hamilton), Alison Shanks (Dunedin).

Road: Catherine Cheatley (Wanganui), Melissa Holt (Cambridge), Linda Villumsen (Auckland).

Athletes' profiles sourced from www.olympic.org.nz . Event information sourced from http://www.cwgdelhi2010.org/