As promised by the people that dish out good and bad luck, today was a great day for Team Southland!! Yah!!!
A few of us were up bright and early for breakfast (some quieter than others according to the U19 boys!) and this early breakfast crew made up the first van load out to Waipawa for the day of Time Trials. It was a very chilly morning but promised to turn into a crisp sunny day eventually (and it did!) – I must say it was lovely to see the famous sun they talk about so much up here!
First up was Josh Carpenter in the U15 Boys Time Trial. After a week of illness Josh rode gallantly over the tough course to come in 6th in a very competitive U15 field. Gutsy effort Josh!
Next up for Southland were the U17 Girls – Brooke Brazier was away first and after 6 weeks off following her big crash at Track Nationals she rode really strongly to come in 21st – watch out once she has a few months training under her belt! We are very proud of you Brooke!
Laura Heywood blasted out of the blocks, rode like a woman possessed, and to our absolute delight came home with a bronze medal! First medal of the Championships!! I must say it was very refreshing to see the pure joy shown when she found out the news….I happened to be talking to Nathan Burdon from the Southland Times at the time and he was wondering what on earth was going on in the background! Great stuff after overcoming the stress of bike mechanicals the day before (she now has two personal mechanics in Brehan and Stu M!).
Jen Muhl headed off next in the U19 Women’s field, stuck to her race plan very well (always tough in a Time Trial) and had an absolutely phenomenal ride in a classy field to earn herself a bronze medal – total elation for Jen, much excitement for the whole rest of the team, and a delighted coach in Stewart Morley!
The U17 boys were next off with Nick Kergozou and Michael Culling – both had really solid rides in a big field which is brimming with talent, with Mikey coming home in 5th and in Nick 22nd. Good job!!!
Brehan Cairns was the next competitor on the road in the U23 Men’s Time Trial - run over 40 gruelling kilometres. After less than an hour out on the road he came in 5th – a really solid effort over tough parcours. He certainly didn’t leave anything out on the course and like the rest of the “40k’ers” who were carked out all over the car-park, he was a wreck at the end of it!
Along with Stu M, Brehan has been a great help in helping sort out any mechanical issues (inevitable when you travel with a million bikes!) and was still hard at it tonight even after his time trial.
Anyway back to the roads of Waipawa – next up were the Paracylists on their tandems, with the Southland pairing of Philly Grey and Laura Thompson absolutely caining it, coming in for the Gold Medal with a 101.7% factoring score. Also on the podium were Jane Parsons and our very own Kylie Young coming in for 2nd place. Awesome stuff girls! Fingers crossed for Olympic spots!!
New members Andrew Ward rode the Masters 3 Men, finishing a very credible 17th. This is the start of his come back on the bike after a big break following his relocation to Southland for work purposes.
The final competitors on the road were the U19 Men – Josh Haggerty was the first Southlander out, and on his return I thought he had been shot – he was covered in blood!! My heart skipped a beat and then settled back into rhythm when he explained his nose had started bleeding part-way into his race and had poured with blood the whole time – any time he went extra hard it poured harder! Poor Josh, he solidered on and completed the race, coming in 21st and that takes GUTS when you are bleeding like a stuck pig! The amount of blood he lost I’m surprised we didn’t need to take him to the hospital for a blood transfusion! (Don’t worry, he was ok really!)
Matt Zenovich and Tom Beadle started in quick succession and left everything out on the road – really solid rides by both of them in, again, a classy field, with Matt coming in 7th and Tom 17th and Nelson-based Kristoff Ford, riding in Southland colours coming 36th. Great stuff boys! These boys have a rough schedule with their time trial later in the day today and a 116km Road Race tomorrow morning!
Master chef’s tonight were Doddsy, Georgia T and Paddy – a very fine effort in cooking YUMMY Spaghetti Bolognese for the masses – including a gluten free option. Nice work team!!!
Righto, another very early start tomorrow for the U15 and U17 Road Races, followed by the U19 Men, so time for bed for this lot!
Fingers crossed for Southland tomorrow!!