Cycling: Gough powers to second silver

By Shane Hurndell

It's early days but put Regan Gough's name down as the hot favourite for Hawke's Bay's 2014 Junior Sportsperson of the Year Award.

Two silver medals at world championship level will make the 16-year-old Central Hawke's Bay cyclist hard to beat at the May awards function. Gough yesterday won his second silver at the World Junior Track Championships in Glasgow when he combined with Alexandra's Liam Aitcheson to finish second in the 120-lap Madison despite having two crashes.

On Thursday Gough, Aitcheson, Josh Haggerty of Invercargill and Connor Stead of Christchurch won silver in the 4000m team pursuit.

"I'm pretty happy ... I left everything on the finish line. There was nothing more left in the tank," Gough told his Taradale-based Hawke's Bay coach Ivar Hopman shortly after yesterday morning's medal ceremony for the Madison.

Gough and Aitcheson made the key move with Denmark to put a lap on the field in the 30km Madison, a two-person race where one rider must be in play at all times, changing with a hand-to-hand slingshot action.

A Central Hawke's Bay College student and cousin of Olympian Westley Gough, Gough had one fall mid-race but recovered as the Kiwis pushed into gold medal contention. With nine laps remaining he was brought down in another crash, changed bikes and got back into the race but Denmark had opened a half-lap lead.

The Kiwis pushed on with Aitcheson unleashing a furious final attack taking them to within a bike length at the finish.

"The crash with nine laps was the difference. What an amazing effort by the boys to nearly get the Danes back. They deserved that one but that's racing isn't it," BikeNZ coach Ross Machejefski said.

Gough told Hopman he felt "really strong and had good legs" during the team pursuit. Just as Hawke's Bay's Aimee Fisher was the busiest Kiwi at the previous week's junior world kayaking championships in Canada, Gough was the busiest of the nine Kiwis in Glasgow with just one rest day during the five days of racing.

On Sunday, Gough produced a huge second day to finish fifth overall in the omnium, a two-day event which involves three races each day. Tenth after the first three events on the Saturday, Gough, was competitive on Sunday finishing fourth on points in the 31-strong field.

He finished fourth in the 3km individual pursuit in 3m28.475s to move up to seventh, third in the scratch race to climb to sixth and eighth in the 1000m time trial.

"I had a big personal best in the flying lap on the first day and then just had a terrible points race. I was a few metres off big points on one sprint and was caught 10m from the line in another ... I was gutted," Gough told Hopman.

"If I had scored top points in both of these then it would have been a different story. But for that awful points race I would have been contesting for a medal," Gough added.

The two silver medals around his neck will be ample compensation for the bit of skin he will be missing off his right leg when he returns home tomorrow. Hopman, who has coached Gough for almost four years, pointed out Gough's last taste of track racing before the worlds was last year.

"The Madison he did in Glasgow was his second. Regan only had three training camps on the track with the Kiwi team before going to the worlds ... that makes those silvers quite special."

Gough's parents, Wendy and Dean, were unable to travel to Glasgow because they were relocating to a new home. The move as well as getting up at 3am to watch live streaming of the race meant sleep took priority over celebrating yesterday.

"We're extremely proud," Dean said.

He added his son's focus will switch to road racing after his break.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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