Date: Monday, 24 July 2017

The fire service team has confirmed they're the fast emergency service in Invercargill, with victory over the police team at the annual corporate cycling race held on Sunday.

Nineteen teams took to the boards in the 12th Architecture Unlimited Corporate Pursuit, which pits businesses against each other to determine boasting rights for the next year.

Reigning champions Wensley's Fire 1 continued their domination of the event with a final time of 1:14.048 seconds in the 1000 metres Italian pursuit final, narrowly edging the Police team in 1:15.017.

Cycling Southland general manager Mark Hotton said many of the riders taking part had not ridden on the velodrome before they entered the race.

"It's an amazing event – you've got teams with new riders taking on experienced cyclists but the camaraderie and fellowship between the teams is amazing," he said.

The fire team, coached by Fergus Canny, was made up of Tai-Anne Blair, Ben Coley, Marty Jillings and Nick Barclay, also produced the fastest time of the day in 1:13.286.

The SDHB Southern Scrubs team rode 3.5 seconds faster than their first time trial race, moving up the table to claim third place over Fonterra – Milking It.

Hotton said an All-Comers Division was introduced this year to provide an opportunity for smaller businesses to take part, and that proved to be as hotly contested as the Corporate Division.

Steve Rhodes Feature Cars/Wensley's Cycles beat Wensley's Fire 2 in the final, with Frewza Boats taking third spot over Wensley's VeloDames.

Hotton was delighted with how the event went, particularly the new All-Comers Division.

"We'll look to expand that next year and open it up to people who just want to have a go. The event is a great way to introduce the sport of track cycling to new people," he said.

CAPTION: Wensley's Fire 1 cyclists from left to right, Nick Barclay, Marty Jillings, Ben Coley and Tai-Anne Blair set off in the Architecture Unlimited Corporate Pursuit race at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome.

Photo courtesy Stuff

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