The Oceania Cycling Championships came to a close over the past weekend, after a couple of hectic weeks featuring mountain biking, track cycling, BMX, and road cycling, and there were some brilliant performances by Southlanders across the various disciplines.
Leading the way for Southland was Tom Sexton, who produced brilliant performances on road an track alike. Riding for his Bolton Equities - Black Spoke Pro Cycling trade team, Sexton took silver in the Elite men time trial, behind team mate Aaron Gate, and silver in the Elite men road race, behind team mate James Fouche. On the track, he also partnered with Gate to take silver in the Elite men Madison, silver in the Elite men team pursuit, and also took silver in the Elite men points race. Add to that a fourth in the scratch race, fifth in the omnium, and sixth in the elimination, and Sexton had an Oceania Championships he can be truly proud of.
Among the other Elite riders, Nick Kergozou produced some excellent results as well, with a silver in the Elite men 1000m time trial, and a silver in the team pursuit, along with a sixth place in the Madison, while Bradly Knipe claimed a silver in the Elite men team sprint, a seventh in the sprint, and a ninth in the Keirin. Rylee McMullen came agonisingly close to a podium finish, taking fourth in the Elite women scratch race, fifth in the points race, and 11th in the Omnium.
Among the U23 riders, Josh Burnett (NZ Cycling Project - MitoQ) finished just shy of the podium in the U23 men cross country mountain bike event, taking fourth place, and also produced a strong ride in the U23 road race, taking 11th place.
Rhylee Akeroyd (Black Magic - illab) recorded a 13th place in the U23 women road race, working hard to keep her team mates in contention for the win, while an unfortunate crash took Mitchel Fitzsimons out of contention in the U23 men road race.
In the para-cycling track events, Connor Douglas produced some brilliant results, highlighted by a new National Record in the F200 for C5 men, an event that he won. He also took silver in the omnium, and bronze in the 1000m time trial and the scratch race.
There were some great results in the U19 events as well, with Ronan Shearing taking silver in the Keirin, the team pursuit, and the team sprint, along with fourth in the points race, fifth in the kilo, and 10th in the individual pursuit. Ciara Kelly also stepped onto the podium, taking silver in the team pursuit, fourth in the Madison and scratch race, fifth in the points race and omnium, sixth in the 500m TT, and eighth in the Keirin and individual pursuit. Jaz McLeod competed in the U19 women time trial and road race, taking 14th place in the time trial, and 14th in the road race while riding in support of her Black Magic - illab team mates.
Great results all round for our Southland athletes in a long-awaited return to international competition!