Eddie Dawkins is out of next week’s UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Brisbane.
The three-time world champion in the team sprint with Ethan Mitchell and Sam Webster has been replaced by Sam Dakin for the Australian meeting.
Cycling New Zealand High Performance Director Martin Barras cites fatigue as the reason for leaving Dawkins at home.
“After two back-to-back competitions in the demanding third-wheel position, it was felt that Dawkins needs a break to freshen up and prepare for February’s World Championship in Germany.”
22-year-old Dakin, the 2018 sprint and keirin national champion, is part of Cycling New Zealand’s elite squad and has been riding the Cambridge round for the Southern Spars Trade Team.
“Dakin had impressed at the trial last month and in the World Cup competition, so will greatly benefit from the experience,” Barras says, adding that the men’s team sprint is ranked inside the top eight teams, with its place at the World Championships secure.
Hopes were high for the trio of Mitchell, Webster and Dawkins – heading into their World Cup campaign having broken their own New Zealand record in their first competitive ride of the season at October’s Oceania Championships in Invercargill.
However they failed to podium in Hong Kong, frustrated by poor execution compared to six weeks earlier, finishing fourth in a strong field that included current world champions the Netherlands, who comfortably claimed gold at the meeting.
The trio bounced back at their first ride in the familiar surroundings of Cambridge, setting the fastest time in qualifying, but it all came unstuck in their first-round ride.
Dawkins lost Webster’s back wheel early in their ride, failing regain it and a result riding the majority of his three laps on his own.
A clearly tired Dawkins was switched to lead out Mitchell and Webster out in the bronze medal ride, with a strong last lap by Webster earning them a bittersweet spot on the podium.
Dawkins was far from his best in today’s keirin as well, needing a repechage to make the second round, only to finish a distant fifth in the race when a place in the top three was needed to advance to the final. He finished the night on a high however, winning the 7-12 classification round.