The New Zealand women's team pursuiters, fresh from posting the world's fastest time at sea level in their comprehensive victory over Australia at the Oceania Track Championships, have quickly turned their attentions to going even faster.
Jamie Nielsen, Alison Shanks and Lauren Ellis' time of 3:19.759 at the ILT Velodrome in Invercargill late last night smashed the national record they set in qualifying by a further four seconds and was a heartbeat outside the world record set by the USA at altitude in Mexico.
But rather than celebrate the feat and the fact they had beaten the Aussies by a whopping 10 seconds, they were concentrating on their individual events at the championships, which finish on Thursday. As soon as they get together again they will be looking at ways to go even faster.
"Every time we put out a good performance it gives us confidence,'' said Nielsen. "We can look at that ride, analyse it and see what we can do better. It's cool to get close to that world record, it's a bit of a carrot, it's exciting.
"The morning [qualifying] ride we just focused on executing it well and in the evening ride we thought we'd take it up a bit a little bit hotter and see what we could do. It was a great team effort.
"One of the other team members said 'go for the world record, girls' and we said `oh okay', seeing it up on the board at the end there we actually nearly did. Looking ahead it's just building on it and keeping it going.''
Hamilton rider Nielsen, 26, has come a long way following her switch from rowing to track cycling three years ago. She won gold in the under-23 world championship quadruple sculls in 2004 aged just 18 and was a senior New Zealand representative at a world cup in 2007 before taking to the track as part of BikeNZ's Power to the Podium scheme designed to find new talent for the London Games. The organisation is certainly reaping the benefits now.
While Shanks has top-end speed and Ellis is a smooth technician, Nielsen is known for her strength despite her relative inexperience in the sport.
Nielsen, Shanks and Ellis trailed Australia early in the 3000m race before storming home over the final kilometre. Their time was two seconds better than their previous best, when they set a world record at the world championships in Copenhagen last year (although that team consisted of Shanks, Ellis and Rushlee Buchanan).
Nielsen added: "The consistency is starting to come too so that gives us a little more confidence. We have a lot of confidence in each other and we have a great support staff around us, the rest of the team is fantastic. I guess we just had to believe and hoped it came together.''
As for the Aussie trio of Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure and Kate Bates, Nielsen wouldn't be drawn on possible psychological blows ahead of next year's Olympics. Given that Cure is a specialist omnium rider rather than a pursuiter, that is probably a sensible strategy. "It's nice to have that time put up there. I guess they'll be going home and will come out with a stronger team from it,'' she said.
Another positive was the form of New Zealand's B-team of Buchanan, Kaytee Boyd and Gemma Dudley in the ride-off against the NZ under-19s. The senior trio posted 3:24.449 to claim the bronze medal, almost five seconds faster than Australia's time in the final.