Hopefully, it's only just a bad dress rehearsal ahead of Rio.

The New Zealand men teams' pursuit squad have bombed out at the track cycling world championships, well beaten in the second round.

It means they won't have a chance to defend their title won so impressively in Paris last year, and can't finish higher than seventh place.

They were neck-and-neck with rivals Australia at the 3000m mark in their second round race, with both teams down to three riders on plan. But the New Zealanders faded when Dylan Kennett lost contact and drifted off the other two riders, Piet Bulling and Aaron Gate.

Advertisement

New Zealand managed 4:00.280 and will ride against the Netherlands for seventh and eighth place.

Australia finished strongly in 3:54.029 to take on the Bradley Wiggins-led Great Britain (3:54.267) for the gold medal on the evening programme, with Denmark up against Italy for the bronze.

But there was better news for the New Zealand women's team pursuit, who rode a national record to qualify third fastest on day two of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in London.

The quartet of Lauren Ellis, Rushlee Buchanan, Jaime Nielsen and Racquel Sheath rode 4:20.664, which was more than two seconds faster than the New Zealand record they set at the world championships in Paris last year.

USA topped the qualifiers on 4:16.180 with half a second covering the next four teams. The Kiwis, who were fifth fastest after the first 1000m, produced three consistent kilometre splits of 1:03 to climb to third.

They take on Canada on Saturday with the winner to progress to the gold medal ride, while USA meet Australia.

Southland's Matt Archibald finished fifth in the men's 1000m time trial on a sluggish London velodrome, clocking 1:01.718 to just miss out on a second successive podium, in the event won by Germany's Joachim Eilers after taking silver in the last two world championships.

Natasha Hansen missed out on qualifying for the semi-finals in the women's keirin, finishing third in a cut-throat repechage.