Date: Thursday, 21 April 2016

There’s an Olympic scent to the annual Cycling New Zealand Club Road Nationals that start today in Alexandra in Central Otago.

Nearly 550 riders from 42 clubs have trekked south for the annual event with riders from under-15 to 65-69 years category and cyclists from as far afield as the Marsden Wheelers Club in Whangarei to Cycling Southland.

The Cycling New Zealand high performance women’s endurance track squad will compete in the elite race on Sunday as they continue their preparations towards the Rio Olympics, with current national time trial and road race elite champion, Rushlee Buchanan leading the way. She is joined by fellow elite track riders Jaime Nielsen, Georgia Williams, Lauren Ellis, Racquel Sheath, Alysha Keith and Holly Edmondson.

The elite women’s division also includes world and Olympic Para-Cycling pilot Laura Thompson (Southland) and prominent New Zealand triathlete Amelia Watkinson.

Canterbury’s Paul Odlin (Pegasus) is a multi-national elite winner and a time trial specialist expected to be prominent in the elite men’s division.

The championships have also attracted a number of outstanding Masters riders including double world road champion Sharon Prutton (Canterbury), multiple track world champion Erin Criglington (Southland) and Waikato’s Jim McMurray, another multi world champion who recently set a world best one hour time on the track for 55-59 year olds.

The time trial for all age groups is today with road racing starting tomorrow through to Sunday.

CAPTION: Rushlee Buchanan, winning the elite road championships in January, will take on the club road nationals in Alexandra.

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