Kiwi Ellesse Andrews wins gold in world record time at junior world track champs

New Zealand cyclist Ellesse Andrews claimed gold at the junior world track championships in Italy on Sunday morning (NZ time), posting a world record time in the qualifying of the women's individual pursuit, before going on to finish the job in style.

Andrews, formerly of Wanaka but now based in Cambridge, took the Kiwis' third medal of the event, and first gold, on what was the penultimate day of competition in Montichari.

The St Peter's School student had claimed bronze in the same event last year in Switzerland, while focusing on sprint racing, but, under the watchful eye of father Jon - a former Commonwealth Games meddalist and Olympian and now the national junior coach - has fully transitioned to endurance, and this time went to the top of the podium, heading off two Italian riders spurred on by a home crowd.

Last year Andrews completed the 2km race in a time of 2min 22.690sec, but this year smashed the world record of 2:22.311 with a brilliant performance of 2:18.080 in the morning qualifying.

That qualified Andrews for the gold medal ride against Italian star Letizia Paternoster. The Kiwi took advantage of her speed to open a one-second advantage through the first kilometre and while the Italian pushed hard, Andrews held her off to win in 2:19.038, by a margin of 0.603 seconds.

It was Andrews' second medal at the event, having also been part of the team pursuit which took silver, and was her fourth world championship medal overall, having triumphed with Emma Cumming in the team sprint last year.

Andrews joins Gemma Dudley and Steph McKenzie as the Kiwi females with the most medals won at the junior track champs, though her two golds sit her atop that list.

Andrews was a Perago recipient in 2017. -stuff.co.nz


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