Golden finish for young cyclists at world championships

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The name of Gough seems likely to continue to shine in New Zealand cycling after the performances of Waipukurau’s Regan Gough in this week’s UCI Juniors Track World Championships in Korea.

The 17 year old Gough joined with Palmerston North schoolmate Luke Mudgway to win the gold medal in the Madison on the final night in the Gwang Myeong Speedome.

It was Gough’s fourth medal of the championships and his second gold, following on from his two medals earned at the championships in Glasgow last year.

His efforts follow that of cousin Westley Gough, also from the central Hawkes Bay town of Waipukurau, who won a gold medal in the team pursuit at the junior world championship in 2005 in Vienna, along with two silver medals the following year in Belgium.

Westley Gough went on to win medals in individual and team pursuit at elite world championships, Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

Regan Gough completed an outstanding effort in Korea with two gold medals in the points race and Madison, along with silver in the individual pursuit and bronze at the team pursuit.

He joins Gemma Dudley as the only New Zealand riders to win four medals at a single junior world championships while his two gold medals at one event equals the feat of Sarah Ulmer and only bettered by the three golds by current Commonwealth Games and World champion Sam Webster.

However Gough’s six junior world championship medals – he won two last year in Glasgow – is the most by any New Zealand since Kiwis first competed in these championships in 1976.

His victory with teammate Mudgway went one better than the silver he achieved last year with Southlander Liam Aitcheson.

The pair had to cope with extreme temperatures over 30C degrees today in Korea during the spectacular race, scored like a points race but with riders putting their teammate into play with a hand-to-hand slingshot action.

“The boys executed the plan perfectly just as Regan had done in the points race,” said head coach Ross Machejefski. “Luke did a superb job to set up Regan for the sprints.

“No teams were able to gain a lap on the field and therefore it was a case of watching the German riders closely over those last two sprints. They managed to hold them off.

“It was a magic way to end the campaign.”

Earlier Holly Edmondston from Waimate had ridden an outstanding second day of the gruelling women’s omnium to finish fourth overall.

She was eighth in the 500m time trial in 37.897s, sixth in the 500m time trial in 21.047s and fourth in the 20km points race, after recovering following a heavy crash earlier in the race.

Holly showed some real courage to get back up and win two sprints after her crash and she was not far off what would have been a well deserved medal.

Machejefski said the juniors had continued to show considerable progress as the depth of the programme improves.

“This has been a great group of athletes and support staff. Our elite riders are now pushing to medals at the highest levels on the track and we are developing a strong group of promising young riders underneath to push up into the elite ranks.

“We also have some outstanding young riders here who will be eligible again for next year’s juniors and can look forward to success.”

Overall team medals:

Gold: Regan Gough – Points Race; Luke Mudgway, Regan Gough  - Madison.

Silver: Regan Gough – individual pursuit

Bronze: Men Team Pursuit bronze (Regan Gough, Nick Kergozou, Luke Mudgway and Jack Ford), Women Team Pursuit (Holly Edmondston, Bryony Botha, Holly White, Nina Wollaston).

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