HONG KONG - New Zealand's Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Ed Dawkins shot to their second straight team sprint world title with a dominant performance at the Track Cycling World Championships on Wednesday.

The Kiwi trio, who also won Olympic silver last year, convincingly beat the Netherlands to make it three world titles in four years after they also took gold in 2014. The victory by 0.333sec in Hong Kong cemented the New Zealanders as the dominant sprinters following the disbanding of the British outfit that beat them to Olympic gold in Rio.

France took bronze with victory over Poland while in the women's race, Russia's Daria Shmeleva and Anastasia Voynova also won their second straight title when they beat Australia. Earlier, Italy's Rachele Barbieri grabbed her maiden world trophy and the first gold medal of the championships with a furious final sprint to win the women's 10km scratch race.

The 20-year-old left it ultra-late before she caught Elinor Barker on the line following a last-lap break for victory by the British Olympic team pursuit gold-medallist. Barbieri, the European under-23 champion, was left to celebrate her first major title, while Belgium's Jolien D'Hoore took bronze. Barbieri, Barker and D'Hoore had been among a group of six, also including 2015 champion Kirsten Wild and America's Sarah Hammer, who surged forward after the halfway point.

"I can't even believe it," Barbieri said. "My coaches said to me to follow the strongest riders... I don't believe it. In the last two metres I won." Britain's Barker was left to rue the timing of her late dash for the line, which seemed to be enough for the win until Barbieri lung-bursting final assault.

"It all worked out pretty well, I guess I just wasn't fast enough. Congrats to her but I'm really disappointed," said Barker. "I went ever so slightly too soon."

Canada's men were an early casualty in the team pursuit when all four riders crashed heavily and limped from the track during their qualifying heat against New Zealand. Australia, who flirted with the world record in qualifying, were fastest into Thursday's final where they will face New Zealand.