Date: Monday, 26 September 2011
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Cycling Southland’s silly season is about to hit. Our club will deliver four major national and international events in the space of just six short weeks, starting with the Yunca Junior Tour of Southland. 

The entry closing date has been brought forward with over 170 riders from both sides of the Tasman set to contest the eight age categories across three days of racing. It starts at Teretonga Raceway on Friday October 14 with a morning time trial and afternoon Kermise stage. It’s a wonderful spot for racing and although the smell of petroleum may be missing the action is sure to be as thrilling as when the V8s are roaring around the same venue.

You’ll find plenty more in this column over coming weeks about the other events on our calendar – ILT Track Carnival (including the Trans-Tasman Junior Challenge and NZ Elite Omnium Champs) from October 18 to 20, PowerNet Tour of Southland from October 30 to November 5 and WHK Oceania Track Championships from November 21 to 24. 

But if you can’t wait for that, pick up our special edition magazine which we’ve titled “Come Along For the Ride.” Copies are available from the Cycling Southland office at the ILT Velodrome for just $5 with funds going to Cycling Southland’s Junior and Development programmes. It does show you just how busy our little club is going to be over the next couple of months.

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In all of the excitement of this week’s spectacular All Blacks and Warriors victories it would be easy to miss the fact that one southern cycling family achieved a rare feat on Friday night. Martyn and Liz Williamson from Alexandra stood on the side of a surburban road in Copenhagen and watch not one, but two of their children line up at the World Road Cycling Championships.

First up was Sophie, fresh from her medal-winning deeds in Moscow and the Junior Track World Championships, in the Under 19 Women’s road race. She was prominent throughout the 70 kilometre race and was positioned close to the front of the bunch as the peloton descended on the finish line for an uphill sprint finish. Her effort in finishing 18th in her first tilt at an international road race was commendable. It was made even more meritorious by the fact that she was forced to ride without her team-mate after New Zealand’s only other representative withdrew following a nasty crash on the first lap.

Then just hours later, older brother James rolled off the start line in the Under 23 Men’s race. He too did everything right, positioning himself expertly over 165 kilometres before getting caught behind a crash on the second to last corner. He watched the bunch disappear as a Russian tried to remove his handlebars from James’ back wheel. To quote the man himself, “that’s good old bike racing.”    

I’m sure, like many, both Williamsons will have more bike racing tales to tell from our events over the next couple of months.

Nick Jeffrey is Cycling Southland's Chief Executive

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