Date: Monday, 03 May 2010
Posted by: Cycling Southland

2010 NZ Club Road Nationals  – Hawkes Bay.

02/05/10 - 22 riders have just returned from sunny Hawkes Bay after a challenging but successful road nationals.  The majority of the team stayed together in Hastings and the atmosphere was outstanding. We had a full day to explore and ride the courses which were a full 25 km from our motel which made the rental vans essential! The Time trial was held on a fast but windy course. We had several great performances and resulted in 3 bronze medals, to U 15’s Brooke Brazier and Michael Culling and U19 NZ track Rep Pieter Bulling.  Jen Muhl, Sier Vermunt, Garth Cooper amongst others all produced strong rides in their respective age groups.

The road races ran from Friday to Sunday and all our riders put in gutsy performances with several top 10 finishes. Some bad luck occurred on the Friday with 3 riders being struck by sickness, 2 crashes and 1 puncture!!  Brooke Brazier, Sophie McMurdo and Mike Culling all rode well on a tough and windy course on Friday am. In the pm we had five U 19 men in the 116 km road race. Pieter Bulling, Marcel Baird and Dillon Bennett were all very active in the race but missed the crucial break which ended up deciding the medals in the finale.

In the U19 women’s race Sarah Tomlinson rode well holding on valiantly over the hilly back part of the course before finally succumbing to the hot pace. Both Sarah and Paigan Marshall put in superb efforts on a tough course. Daryl Cleghorn and Garth Cooper stuck with the main groups of their Masters 2 & 3 races and finished mid pack in the fast sprint finishes.  Perhaps one of the best rides of the road races came from Hamish Presbury in the Senior and U23 Men’s road race.  After an initial break away of several riders, Hamish set off with Aaron Strong to put himself in contention and was joined by riders dropping back from the front and a couple of reinforcements from behind. On the last lap he was with a small group fighting for 2nd place in the U23 standings, 2 min down on leader Shem Rodger but 4 mins ahead of the peloton. Unfortunately on the last lap bad cramp set in meaning finishing with these guys was impossible. However, a great effort over the 176 km distance.

Supporter of the week definitely went to Brehan Cairns, who,  when dared, was clothed in only some strategically placed Toi Toi , covered in writing “Go Prez” ran alongside his group at the feed station shouting words of encouragement to the rapturous applause of all at the feed station. A fine effort.

What was notable for these road nationals was the tight turn around between the age group track nationals and these Club Road Nationals. With such a track focus for our riders, the short time frame has meant training and racing has been very condensed and outstanding results difficult to achieve in this first year of our club road nationals being rescheduled. My aim is for the riders to go into next year with a stronger base before the track nationals to make this easier in the limited time we have to prepare.

Look out on the website soon for some great photos from the week by Grant Bulling.

A huge THANKYOU to parents, Roger McMurdo, Julian Baird, Grant Bulling & Michelle Kergozou for their help over the week, your assistance was invaluable.

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