Cycling New Zealand confident of getting back to best

By David Leggat

Cycling New Zealand are confident they can recover lost funding with strong performances leading up to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Cycling took a hit from funding paymasters High Performance Sport New Zealand after a disappointing return from the Rio Games last year where a solitary team sprint silver medal was a poor outcome for $17.4 million invested over the four-year cycle.

New Zealand's track team are off to the world championships in Hong Kong this week and there's a confidence that they are moving in the right direction.

"The tricky part for us is concentrating on the here and now," CNZ chief executive
Andrew Matheson said today.

"Hong Kong is a really important stepping stone. We want to bed in the things we learnt from Rio.

"We've got fantastic riders and coaching group. If we do our homework and perform as we believe we can, that funding will come."

Matheson said, with the cloth having to be cut to fit, it sharpens the focus on where the funding must go, as opposed to where the bosses might like it to go.

"A lot of what we've done is making sure the important stuff is covered off. The nicer stuff we'll leave for another day.

"We're not going to take any shortcuts. We're still very focused on the Tokyo outcomes. We're in a pretty good space," Matheson said.

The results out of Rio were sobering for CNZ.

"For us it was a really good reminder that it's a pretty tough world out there. We've got to make sure everything we do is world class," Matheson said.

"We're really confident we've got riders in our programme, or on the way (into the programme) who will give us a good shot in Tokyo.

''All the ingredients are there to do the job if we make the right calls across the next 12-18 months."

Matheson has been wearing two hats recently, doubling up as overseeing the high performance programme. That will end soon.

CNZ are in the final stages of the recruitment process to replace long-serving Mark Elliott, who resigned after Rio and is now back with Triathlon New Zealand, starting this week.
Matheson is hopeful of an announcement within the next six weeks.

The worlds run from April 12-16.

- NZ Herald

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