• Nathan Hart. (Getty)Source: Getty
Team sprint specialist Nathan Hart has won his first individual World Cup gold medal and veteran campaigner Annette Edmondson did the same in the Omnium.
Cycling Central

22 Jan 2019 - 12:06 PM 

Hart has won his first individual World Cup gold medal, taking out the sprint in New Zealand.

The Rio Olympian normally focuses on the team sprint and this is only the third time he has competed in the match sprint at a World Cup round.

He qualified second-fastest at the Cambridge, New Zealand event with 9.650 seconds for the flying 200m and went on to beat Polish fastest qualifier Mateusz Rudyk two heats to nil in the gold medal ride-off.

It is Hart's last event ahead of the world championships late next month in Poland.

"I knew I was coming in here with good form," Hart said.

"I have never even been on the podium before in a sprint so to come away with a gold, I mean I am absolutely ecstatic.

"I wouldn't say it was a surprise .... I was feeling good all day and was really happy with how I raced."

Hart also won silver in the team sprint and Annette Edmondson won Australia's other medal at the NZ round, taking gold in the omnium.

Edmondson opened her account with a win in the scratch race, before taking fourth in the tempo. Victory in the elimination race provided an eight-point lead heading into the final event, the points race. 

“[I’m] Delighted to get the win here, we came here to get some experience because this would only be my third omnium in the new format,” Edmondson said. “Happy to tick some boxes, test out some new plans.

“The race might have been missing some of the bigger names in omnium, but the great opportunity of racing, to practice race strategies was not lost.

"Also, to learn to ride the final points race in the lead, that experience is hard to get at that level, so it was great to have this opportunity.

“It was a nice battle at the end there, but I did feel in control and happy to take the win.”

Hart also earned silver in the team sprint along with Jacob Schmid and Thomas Clarke, finishing second to New Zealand. 

Kaarle McCulloch claimed her first individual sprint medal at a World Cup level when she claimed bronze in the women’s event.

Australia's team for NZ was largely a development squad, with most of the top track riders finalising their world championship preparations.