As you read this poor excuse for a sports column, spare a thought for a number of cyclists who will be waking up feeling a little stiff and sore this morning writes CEO Nick Jeffrey.
I’m not talking about the Tour de France peloton which has left more skin then usual on French roads this week. I’m referring to our hardy bunch of corporate pursuiters who lined up in Cycling Southland’s Harrex Group-sponsored event yesterday.
As described previously, yesterday’s Grading Time Trial seeds the 34 teams in order across two divisions for this Sunday’s main event. You’ll find full results from yesterday elsewhere in this fine publication. Needless to say we should be in for some great racing and a lot of fun on Finals Day from 10am on Sunday.
Away from the track, the second race in Cycling Southland’s Winter Racing Series was held on Saturday with the Donovan Points Race staged around a 10 kilometre circuit from Retreat Road on the outskirts of Invercargill.
A Grade proved clear-cut in the end as the master gave his pupils something of a lesson. Matt Randall made a successful return to the club racing scene claiming four sprint wins out of five for a final tally of 23 points to see off his protégés Matt Zenovich (14 points) and Brad Tuhi (11 points) for the win.
B Grade was shaping up for a gripping finish between Vaughan Edie and Dave Beadle before a last lap puncture forced Beadle’s withdrawal and Edie celebrated by winning the final sprint to claim an impressive victory on 18 points from Wayne Miller and Gabby Vermunt.
Wally Kopae showed his track legs in C Grade to kick for three sprint wins and two seconds for a final tally of 21 points, well clear of second-placed Garry Perkins with Neil Sutherland’s final sprint victory elevating him in to third spot.
In closing, I have a few words regarding the Invercargill Licensing Trust and ILT Foundation. We would have an excuse to pen words of thanks most weeks of the year; such is the level of support we receive throughout the year, but there was something pretty special about what I witnessed this past week.
Not only have both organizations made sizable direct funding contributions to assist with the UCI Junior Track Worlds next month, but the ILT Foundation last week confirmed additional scholarships for a total of five local cyclists. Junior Worlds representatives Tom Beadle, Jeremy Presbury and Kate Dunlevey along with NZ Development road squad members Josh Haggerty and Michael Culling all received significant contributions.
Each one of these families went out of their way to pass on to me their sincere and humble gratitude for the Foundation’s level of support. It is only fair that I pass on their message in the most public fashion possible.
To the board and staff at both ILT and ILT Foundation goes a heart-felt thank you. I was lucky enough to hear these responses directly. Never doubt the difference that you are making.
Nick Jeffrey is Chief Executive of Cycling Southland