In today’s business world, companies have to be quick to react, flexible and have the ability to act decisively and with speed. Now, I'm not talking about how they operate 9 to 5! I'm referring to the 2012 version of Cycling Southland's Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit.
This year another capacity field of 34 six-person teams will line up over two race days next month to find the south'’s best cycling corporate.
There is a great mix of experience and first-timers in the field from every sector imaginable with teams from H&J Smith, Whyte’s Gravel Supplies, Southland Times, McIntyre Dick and Partners, PowerNet, Preston Russell Law, WHK, ASA Stonewood Homes, Southland District Council, Harcourts, Environment Southland, NZ Police, Invercargill Licensing Trust, AWS Legal, BNZ, Ricoh, BMAC Sheetmetal, The Radio Network, Westpac, Southroads, HW Richardson Group, Opus International Consultants, EIS Group, Finance Now, Amalgamated Builders, Fulton Hogan Southland, Fonterra, Calder Stewart Roofing, YMCA, Waihopai Health Sevices, SBS Bank, St Thomas Aquinas School and of course our magnificent sponsor Harrex Group.
Try picking a winner from that lot!
So, how does it work? Each team has been training hard refining their combinations over the last month with our personal team coaches at the Stadium Southland Velodrome. The first challenge is the Grading Time Trial on Sunday 8 July when each team will take on the clock in a one-off four-lap ride. This ranks the team in order from first to thirty-fourth for the Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit Finals one week later on Sunday 15 July.
On finals day the field is split in to two divisions and it turns in to an elimination format. Teams ride two at a time with the winner of each four-lapper progressing through the rounds and the losers dropping in to our plate competitions. Ultimately, two teams are left to battle for the big divisional prizes.
Last year the NZ Police got the “business” done taking out Division One over Calder Stewart Roofing, while former champion YMCA defeated Fonterra to take home the Division Two trophy.
Both race days are two of the most colourful in the Velodrome all year. The teams come decked out in customised racing tops and supporters and work-mates do the same, filling the stand with banners, costumes and plenty of noise. It is always great to see how much faster the teams all ride on the competition days, firing themselves up with the support from the bleachers being a major factor.
It’s great fun and it is expertly organized by Julian Ineson and Sier Vermunt who again have plans for next month well in hand. Thanks again for all your work guys.
Before I go, congratulations go to Cycling Southland’s Erin Criglington who last week was awarded a Services Award at the National Bike Road and Track Volunteer Awards. It’s always great to see someone like Erin who gives so much on and off the bike as a rider, official, volunteer, coach and mentor get a little something back in return.
Nick Jeffrey is Chief Executive of Cycling Southland.