New Zealand's top track cyclists got a tough wake-up call at the world championships this month, according to high performance boss Martin Barras.

They were guilty of a degree of complacency which bit them hard in the Netherlands, but he wants the lessons out of it absorbed quickly.

New Zealand picked up one medal, a fine bronze in the four-event omnium for Rushlee Buchanan, a late selection who grabbed her chance impressively.

But the men's sprint team of Sam Webster, Ethan Mitchell and Eddie Dawkins, three-time world champions, twice silver medallists and Rio Olympic runners-up, finished fifth, as did the well regarded men's team pursuit.

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"Certainly there has been an element of complacency," Barras said. "In the debrief we've been having, that has been identified as one element we need to address. It's been very much a reality check for the whole programme."

Barras, who helped guide Australia through two Olympic cycles and has been a director with the Orica-Scott women's road team, was appointed to CNZ late last year.

But with the Commonwealth Games coming up on the Gold Coast next month, time is short to pick themselves up and re-focus.

"In terms of the outcomes, [the world championships] were probably not what the team would have hoped for," he said.

Barras, who happily admits he's driven by process rather than outcomes, pointed out that the world championship return last year was good, and the World Cup campaign had reasonable results, too. However, there had not been notable "movement forward" in that time.

"We stood still. We still recorded some good results, then boom; it was rubbed in our face at the world championships," he said.

Barras admitted having the world championships and Commonwealth Games so close together has not helped. His personal preference would have been to scrap the worlds and focus solely on a strong Games performance, as hosts Australia have unashamedly done. However, plans were well advanced when he joined CNZ, it was the pinnacle event of the year, and the die was cast.

"We went to the world championships with a smaller team with the goal of delivering performances. With the Commonwealth Games, if you look at the size of the team selected [a record 33 covering track, road and mountainbike], we're introducing a lot of new riders to the pressure of being in a major championships. The Gold Coast is much more a development opportunity and that's reflected in the selections."