Cycling: Dawkins claims keirin victory in Paris

Southland's Eddie Dawkins has continued his strong form with victory in the Grand Prix cycling meet in Paris today.

Dawkins took out the final in the keirin in the UCI tier-one event at the Stade de Saint-Denis, following on from his sprint win at Valencia two weeks ago.

He held off Frenchman Quentin Lafargue, the former junior world champion, and Dutchman Hugo Haak in the final.

The meet, on the 333m outdoor velodrome, was squeezed into the night programme after wet weather in Paris delayed racing.

Dawkins prevailed in his semifinal while teammate Sam Webster won the other semifinal. The big Invercargill rider was able to show his strength to good effect in the final to power away from the field for the win. Webster finished fifth.

Earlier, the Kiwis finished out of the semifinal placings in the sprint, won by former French and European champion Michael D'Almeida who held off compatriot Charly Conord in two straight rides in the final.

The BikeNZ team now head to Germany for further training with further international competition at Cottbus on 22-23 June.

Meanwhile, Christchurch rider Michael Vink remains in fifth place after the fifth stage of the International Thuringen Rundfahrt in Germany today.

Vink finished eighth in the 28km individual time trial in Streufdorf, with extremely windy conditions hampering riders.

The Kiwi, part of the BikeNZ endurance track squad training and racing on the road and track in Europe, finished 1m13.6s down on winner Campbell Flakemore ahead of Australian teammate Damien Howson.

Brilliant Dutch prospect Dylan van Baarle, who won the recent Olympia's Tour, finished third to claim the yellow jersey by just three seconds from Olympic omnium gold medallist Lasse Norman Hansen (NOR). Vink remains in fifth place 49 seconds behind the leader.

Southland's Pieter Bulling was the next best of the New Zealand team today in 38th, 2m47s down on the winner, Hayden McCormick at 2:57.96 back (45th), Hamish Schreurs at 3:32.42 (60th), Josh Atkins at 4:34.20 (79th) and Cameron Karwowski at 5:62.36 (86th).

Tomorrow's sixth stage is the second longest of this year's tour through the heart of the Thuringian Forest and is riddled with six climbs and sprints.

- APNZ

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