30/07/2011 - Can anyone stop the police in the finals of Cycling Southland's Corporate Pursuit tomorrow?
On the evidence of last weekend's time trial, it would appear not.
The Police Five Os turned in a 1min 17.461sec time to qualify top of the standings for finals day, but that included a 2sec penalty for an early change.
Without that penalty the frontrunners in the Harrex Group-sponsored event would have recorded a time nearly 3sec faster than the Fonterra Milking It team, which heads a troika of teams separated by less than a second which includes newcomers Calder Stewart and the Southland District Council.
The YMCA team, which set a new event record last year with a time of 1min 12.068sec to beat the police in the final, has seen two team members go on to represent Southland. The change in personnel saw it drop down into the leading teams in division two.
Julian Ineson, who organises the event along with Sier Vermunt, said the real race could be between the teams vying for a place in the final with the police.
"They are going to be very hard to beat. Their disadvantage, in some ways, is that they have only got four in the team and it's going to be a big day for them because they can't rotate their riders. They are looking pretty sharp, they are a tight unit," Ineson said.
"If everything goes to plan they will make the final, but [the question will be] who will be against them."
Division two promises to be highly competitive with the top four teams – ILT, Number 4 RD, Finance Now and YMCA – separated by less than half a second.
Finance Now took a massive 8sec off its personal best in the time trial to be seeded third in division two.
"I think there was a bit of strategy going on with some of the teams with the makeup of their team on time trial day," Ineson said.
"There were a few around with injuries and flu bugs so we could see teams going even faster."
Racing begins tomorrow at the ILT Velodrome with the Preston Russell Law 2 team taking on Konica Minolta from 9.30pm. The final will be at 4.25pm.
The lunch break from 1.10pm will see a yellow jersey signed by Tour de Lakes winner Gordon McCauley auctioned for charity, as well as four teams trying to beat the all-comers record held by last year's YMCA team.
Article courtesy of The Southland Times