25 Mar 2009

New Zealand looking to learn at Track Cycling World Champs

7:03 pm on 25 March 2009

The Track Cycling World Championships begin in Poland on Thursday and the New Zealand contingent says they're viewing it as a stepping stone towards next years Commonwealth Games and the 2012 London Olympics.

A 12-strong New Zealand squad is competing at the event, headed by Beijing World Cup gold medalists Jesse Sergent and Alison Shanks, while six members have also won medals at the world junior level.

Sergent has a big opportunity in the mens individual pursuit with reigning Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain not competing.

He clocked the fastest time by a New Zealander in winning his world cup gold, beating Hayden Roulston's silver medal winning time at Beijing last year.

Competitors will also be buoyed by the absence of another Brit - triple Olympic gold winner Chris Hoy, who has still not fully recovered from a recent crash.