Date: Thursday, 10 March 2016

Southland riders continued where their elite riders left off, with a golden performance on the first night of the Age Group Track National Championships in Invercargill.

Local riders claimed nine titles on the opening day of the championships at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome that followed on from the recent national elite and under-19 championships in Cambridge where Southland riders topped the points.

Yesterday under 15 rider Rhylee Akeroyd set the scene in the first division, winning the 500m time trial by half a second in 39.925, and that baton was picked up by the rest of her teammates.

Riders from the Southland Masters women’s squad took gold in each of the 500m time trial age divisions they competed.

Sam Kopae began the golden run winning the Masters 4 (50-54 years) division in 41.930, while double world champion Erin Criglington won the Masters 3 (45-49 years) in 38.712 with fellow Southland rider Nicola Stevens second.

Kylea Gough won the Masters 2 (40-44 years) in 38.952, while Leanne Dalley completed the quaddie by winning the Masters 1 (35-39 years) in 40.439.

Veteran rider Peter Grandiek set a national record of 51.999 in the Men 8+ division (85-plus years), while three other male Southland riders also won their divisions.

Southland masters sprint squad coach Nick Harris was delighted with the results, which he attributed to the hard work put in by all members of the squad.

“Not that they needed any more encouragement, but they were buoyed by the success that Eddie Dawkins enjoyed at the world champs in London.”

Southland rider Roger Nicholas claimed a New Zealand record of 36.778 in the Masters 4 (50-54 years) division.

Harris said: “We targeted the time trial after he also set a record in the previous age division, so for him to execute a great ride and secure another national record, well that’s just awesome.”

Southland rider Brett Roulston won the Masters 1 (35-39 years) 750m time trial in 51.795; Michael White won the Masters 2 (40-44 years) 750m time trial in 51.216, with Brendan Akeroyd finishing third behind West Coast North Island rider Patrick Weinrauch.

It wasn’t just Southland riders setting records on what appeared to be a fast track.

Waikato BOP rider Grant Tyrell beat his national record with a 35.900 in the Masters 5 (55-59 years) 500m time trial, while Auckland rider Scott Russell did the same in the Masters 6 (60-64 years) 500m time trial with a 35.311.

Canterbury rider Graeme Litt also set a record in the Masters 7 (65-69 years) with a 38.394.

In other results, Laurence Pithie, Canterbury, won the Under 15 boys title in 38.666; Ally Wollaston, Auckland, won the Under 17 girls title in 37.820; Thomas Garbett, West Coast North Island, won the Under 17 boys title in 34.236; and Russell Ownsworth, Canterbury, won the Masters 3 750m title in 51.147.

More than 220 riders from around the country are taking part in the Age Group Track National Championships, which are being held at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome in Invercargill. Racing runs until Sunday afternoon.

CAPTION: Southland masters rider Erin Criglington rides the time trial at the Age Group Track National Championships in Invercargill on Wednesday night.

Photo courtesy Dianne Manson

Details: www.cyclingnew or


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