The New Zealand cycling team finished off a strong showing at the UCI Track World Cup in Cambridge today with two bronze medals on the final day.
Rushlee Buchanan and Racquel Sheath delivered bronze in the Madison on the final day before e Trade Team rider Jessie Hodges added a bronze in the women's scratch.
Following five gold medals in the opening two days, New Zealand was awarded the Best Overall Nation Award at the penultimate World Cup of the 2018-2019 season which offered important qualifying points for next month's World Championships and ultimately to the Tokyo Olympics.
Australian Nathan Hart enjoyed a breakthrough victory in the men's sprint, with two straight wins in the final over Polish champion Mateusz Rudyk. Kiwi Ethan Mitchel was pipped in the bronze ride off over three rides against Frenchman Sebastien Vigier.
Inaugural Madison World Champions Jolien D'hoore and Lotte Kopecky of Belgium were the dominant force in the women's Madison winning five of the eight sprints on route to the gold medal.
After taking points in the opening two sprints a late charge by Sheath and Buchanan saw them take the final spot on the podium on nine points, two clear of Russia and Belarus.
"It gives us real confidence with our form over the three days including the Trade Team – to have them get fourth in the team pursuit shows the depth in our squad," Buchanan said.
"Honestly the next four or five weeks leading to the worlds is going to be so exciting with everyone fighting for their spots. It's an awesome place to be and I am confident we are going to make big gains," Buchanan added.
Martina Fidanza (Italy) unleashed her powerful turn of speed on the final lap to charge clear to scratch race gold ahead of Daria Pikulik (Poland) with Subway New Zealand Trade Team's Hodges completing the podium.
Claudio Imhof from Switzerland took the narrowest of victories in the men's omnium, winning the title by just one point from Raman Tsishkou of Belarus. Imhof's consistency was key, finishing fourth in the scratch race, third in the tempo and third in the elimination, before controlling the points race to seal the victory.
Individual scratch race winner Christos Volikakis followed up on that form by winning the scratch race before eventually finishing fourth overall. New Zealand's Regan Gough was eighth after the four event competition.
Hong Kong's Lee Wai-sze flexed her muscles again, adding the women's keirin title to her sprint gold medal. World champion Nicky Degrendele of Belgium missed out on the final, as did New Zealand's Natasha Hansen, eventually finishing 10th and 7th respectively.