he conveyer belt of cycling talent out of Canterbury continues with Amelia Sykes picking up the mantle on the opening day of the Vantage Age Group Track National Championships in Invercargill.
Sykes, who won national age group titles in 2019 in the team sprint and team pursuit led by the outstanding Jenna Borthwick last year, has stepped up in her own right on the first day of the 2020 event at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome.
The Avonside Girls High School rider stepped up in the 2000m individual pursuit final and in doing so broke the national record set last year by Borthwick, who has this year progressed to make the New Zealand team for the junior world championships.
Sykes topped qualifying in 2:30.981 and lowered that to 2:28.220 to win the final, half a second under Borthwick’s record set at the championships last year.
“Last year I was in the team sprint with Jenna and learned from that. This year I had full confidence and I prepared well,” Sykes said. “I was going for that record and gave it everything. The last two years have been so phenomenal for me and I’m looking forward to the races coming up and hopefully some more records.”
Sykes said she learned a lot from the work shops and racing in the national track series last year that she has been able to put into practice with her coach this year.
The other record went to Auckland Grammar under-15 rider Nate Boness who won the 500m time trial final in a new championship time of 35.388s, more than a second ahead of second place.
“I knew what I was aiming for but not sure I could get it. I was aiming to ride a sub 35. I was a little over that but still happy with my ride,” said Boness who will now set himself for the longer bunch races.
In other junior racing, Jonathon Fish took out the under-17 individual pursuit final over fellow Mid South Canterbury rider Jaxson Whyte and Caitlin Kelly (Southland) won the under-15 girls 500m time trial.
Masters world champions Penny Pawson, Erin Criglington and Graeme Litt were to the fore.
Litt won the Masters 8 Scratch race and 500m time trial, while Criglington claimed the Masters 3 final and Pawson the Masters 4 gold medal in the 2000m individual pursuit finals.
Former professional road rider, Bryce Shapley (Waikato Bay of Plenty) won the Masters 3 time trial final.
The championships continue until Sunday.