Four years ago the BikeNZ selectors were "scratching" around to find enough good riders to make up their track cycling team for Beijing but in 2012 they were faced with a difficult conundrum of who to leave out.
The rapid development of a world-class sprinting programme has created a number of headaches, and well as heartache, and young Aucklander Sam Webster was the unlucky rider to miss out on a place in the men's sprint team.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee today announced a 15-strong New Zealand track cycling team (nine men, six women) to compete in London. Tight restrictions are placed on team sizes, meaning tough choices needed to be made now, although they will be able to carry an additional rider in both the men's and women's team pursuit who ride three times in two days.
Simon van Velthooven's ability in the keirin, where he is a genuine medal chance after he was controversially relegated from third to sixth for riding interference at the recent world championships, saw him selected for the team sprint ahead of Webster.
It will mean a rejig in the established order who won bronze at the world championships, with Ethan Mitchell remaining the leadout rider, Eddie Dawkins shifting into second wheel instead of Webster and van Velthooven slotting into third wheel.
"There's quality right across that sprint programme," BikeNZ high performance director Mark Elliott said. "Simon's ability to deliver in the keirin, undoubtedly we see that as a priority event. Simon is an incredible competitor, as Sam is, and we would love to have both there riding for New Zealand but at this stage Simon is a priority."
It conjured up a number of emotions for van Velthooven when told the news.
"[Sprint coach] Justin Grace rang me yesterday and told me I was in and said, 'well done'," van Velthooven said. "Then he went through all the names and the first thing I thought was, 'where's Sam Webster?' I had a whole lot of disappointment and guilt, almost cheated. But that was always going to be the case that someone would miss out. I thought it was going to be me. It was a bit of relief and guilt and excitment and loss. I'm happy now. Sam isn't out of the whole picture but it's just the way the cookie crumbles."
Webster was named as a reserve and will come into the squad if one of the sprinters is injured.
There will also need to be decisions made around the men's team pursuit squad. A five-strong squad has been named but one will need to transfer to one of the other cycling disciplines - road, BMX or mountain biking - because a maximum of eight riders are allowed in the men's track cycling team. Any one of the pursuiters could be named in the BMX or mountain biking team but wouldn't compete in the event, in much the same way as Cath Cheatley was named in the BMX team for Beijing but didn't go anywhere near the dirt track.
New Zealand won five medals at the recent world championships in Melbourne but that shouldn't be seen as an indicator of possible success in London because three medals were won in non-Olympic events. The men's and women's team pursuiters and van Velthooven are genuine contenders, and the men's team sprint and omnium rider Shane Archbold are outside chances.
The men's team sprint won bronze at the world championships but only after favourites Great Britain and Germany were disqaulified.
"Anyone we have selected we believe has the opportunity to win medals," Elliott said. "When you consider that the only discipline we haven't had confirmation is women's team sprint, then we have expectations that medals are on offer for all of the track disciplines.
"This programme has ... riders who will not only win medals for this country in 2012 but, I believe, will be dominating the sport in 2016."
The BMX and mountain biking teams will be named in Many with the road team announced in June.
New Zealand Olympic track cycling team:
Men: Shane Archbold (Timaru), Sam Bewley (Rotorua), Eddie Dawkins (Invercargill), Aaron Gate (Auckland), Westley Gough (Waipukurau), Ethan Mitchell (Auckland), Marc Ryan (Timaru), Jesse Sergent (Feilding), Simon van Velthooven (Palmerston North). Reserve: Sam Webster (Auckland).
Women: Rushlee Buchanan (Te Awamutu) - subject to quota confirmation, Lauren Ellis (Hinds), Natasha Hansen (Invercargill), Joanne Kiesanowski (Christchurch), Jaime Nielsen (Hamilton), Alison Shanks (Dunedin). Reserve: Katie Schofield (Dunedin) - subject to acceptance of final qualifiers.
Coaches: Tim Carswell (Christchurch, Men endurance coach), Dayle Cheatley (Wanganui, women endurance coach), Justin Grace (men sprint coach), Stu McDonald (Invercargill, women sprint coach).