A fresh seam of confidence is running through Cycling New Zealand on the back of a rousing performance at last week's world track championships in Hong Kong.

The haul of five medals matched the previous best established at Melbourne in 2012 and Cali, Colombia two years later, although the key about the Hong Kong return is all five were won in Olympic events.

New Zealand were second equal on the medal table behind only Australia and alongside France, Germany, Belgium and Britain, another booster after a disappointing, and financially costly Rio Olympic performance last year when a solitary silver was the extent of New Zealand's return.

"When you come off the plane and most of the team have got a medal around their necks you have to be satisfied with that," CNZ chief executive Andrew Matheson said upon the team's return home today.


Matheson, doubling as acting high performance boss, said the squad's brains trust had an inkling the return would be impressive - "all the squads were training really well but then you've got to deliver on the day. It didn't come as a huge surprise that the team would perform well."

The sole gold came from the outstanding sprint trio of Sam Webster, Eddie Dawkins and Ethan Mitchell, their third in four years; Mitchell's bronze in the individual sprint was a highlight, given his lack of serious solo sprint riding experience; Aaron Gate won silver in the slimmed-down omnium - no surprise there as he was world champion four years ago - as did the men's team pursuit, while the women's team pursuit's bronze was particularly satisfying, given the women's programme had been scaled back a few years ago.

What Hong Kong did was lay down a marker for CNZ. From there, it's a case of aiming up in the next three years building to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

The standard of racing was better than is often the case in the year after an Olympic Games, the Australian team pursuiters giving the world record a serious nudge a case in point.

"There were some fantastic battles out there. It's not as if the fields were going slow," Matheson said.

"But this gives us real confidence we are on the right track and have got the right platform to take the next couple of steps."

CNZ lost $500,000 in funding for this year, and the same amount next year. That's a haircut from $4.7 million to $4.2 million.

The sport will meet High Performance Sport New Zealand at the end of the year and are likely to float the idea of a reduction in their loss for next year.

"You always come with a stronger position after some great results. If we keep doing well, the ball is in HPSNZ's court."

He acknowledged a solid case would need to be made around where any extra funding would go. Next year is slightly complicated with the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, plus the usual significant events.

"Plus we want to keep blooding new talent," Matheson said.

"That's really important, to strength our squad for 2020 but also get a head start on the 2024 programme."

The riders have a training block now before regrouping ahead of World Cup events in November-December.