Four is the score on day three of track cycling

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The good times continued for the New Zealand track cycling squad at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome today, with another gold medal, a silver and two bronzes.

In the men’s 40km points race, Tom Scully was brilliant, winning both his morning heat and then the final in the afternoon. There was more good news when Aaron Gate claimed the points race bronze.

Scully, Gate and Shane Archbold, who all looked impressive in qualifying, rode a smart final. Scully was aggressive and racked up early points. He put three laps on most of the field and always looked strong. However, he was assisted by some excellent work from his team-mates.

By the time they had completed their 160 laps, Scully had 98 points, Isle of Man’s Peter Kennaugh, who rides for Team Sky, was second with 84 and Gate was just behind on 82.

Scully, the world championship silver medallist in this event in Colombia earlier this year, is a great success story. He had a terrible crash while riding in Ireland and was forced to take a year out from the sport, but has come back better than ever this year. 

“I’m thrilled with the win. It means a lot although it hasn’t sunk in yet,” Scully said. “It’s been a long road back and I am thankful both to my professional team Madison Genesis and to BikeNZ who have supported me and allowed me to ride for my team and transition back on to the track.

We had a good plan and rode to it. Both Aaron and I took our chances and Shane did a great job protecting us, covering the breaks and setting up some good points.

The medals won by Scully and Gate were the eighth and ninth of the New Zealand track cycling squad in Glasgow.

Earlier in the men’s 1000m time trial, New Zealanders Simon van Velthooven and Matt Archibald grabbed silver and bronze behind Australian Scott Sunderland, the defending champion.

Archibald posted his time of 1min 01.162s, a games record, relatively early in what was only his second Kilo in competition. He took some six seconds off that time to set the pace which held up until the final pair hit the track.

It was a tight race, but the Australian, who is now part of Australia’s endurance team, was behind van Velthooven until the final half lap when he finished the stronger. Sunderland clocked 1:00.67s to establish a games record and pip the Kiwi was timed at 1min 01.060.

Earlier Stephanie McKenzie completed an enterprising first major international meet when she placed sixth in the women’s sprint after qualifying fourth fastest in the morning.

Lauren Ellis was the best of the New Zealand women in the 10km scratch race, finishing ninth after the field played into the hands of the fast Australian combination led by Annette Edmondson who out-sprinted teammate Amy Cure and Wales’ Elinor Barker in a sprint finish.

While the New Zealand trio of Ellis, Rushlee Buchanan and Georgia Williams were lively early, they found little support from other countries to take it to the Australians, and once it became a sprint finish, then Edmondson, the pursuit winner, was simply too strong.

They will look to make things more challenging in tomorrow’s points race.

There is a strong chance of more medals on the final day of track with van Velthooven, Eddie Dawkins and Sam Webster in the keirin while Scully, Archbold and Dylan Kennett race the scratch race.

Photo credit: Guy Swarbrick

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