In the week Cycling New Zealand have appointed a new sprint coach to replace the controversial Anthony Peden, top rider Eddie Dawkins has given Peden a vote of support.

German Rene Wolff, a former world and Olympic champion, was unveiled yesterday as the new boss of sprint riding at CNZ.

He will replace the departed Peden, who is a central figure in a review into the culture of the sport, including allegations of bullying and inappropriate behaviour.

Peden guided Dawkins, Sam Webster and Ethan Mitchell to world, Olympic and Commonwealth success and Dawkins spoke up for his work today.


"He's a good lad, he's crazy but he's good," Dawkins told Radio Sport of former New Zealand rider Peden.

"He always wanted what was best for us. It's sad to see him go but we've got to keep pushing forward – and he's got to keep pushing forward with new opportunities."

New national sprint coach Rene Wolff. Photo / Getty
New national sprint coach Rene Wolff. Photo / Getty

Dawkins would not comment on whether criticism of Peden's management style was appropriate.

"Whatever he's done in his personal life it doesn't need to be public knowledge.

"Everyone had their own reactions but it was time to go and we respected that. He's moved on now and I'm sure he'll go from strength to strength in whatever role he chooses to follow."

However Dawkins is optimistic the good times will continue under Wolff.

"We've spent a bit of time with him. He seems like a pretty good dude and we're all excited to have him on board and see what he brings to the table."

Dawkins said Wolff has had success both as a rider and a coach, overseeing the Dutch through the last two Olympic cycles.


"He knows what it's like to be at the top of the sport on both sides of the fence and (it's good) to see CNZ putting that faith in us and getting us a high quality coach."

Wolff will start his role this month with his first assignment being the World Cup competitions in France and Canada next month.