Cycling Southland handed out 58 sets of medals over the weekend at its 2012 Southland Track Championship. With the National Elite and Age Group Championships on the horizon in early 2012, this weekend provided the opportunity for riders from Under 13 to Masters grades to push their cases for selection and claim championship honours in the process.
Friday night’s opening session saw Sean Fox etch his name on the prestigious Stuart MacLean Memorial Trophy with victory in the Open Men 1000 metre Time Trial. Fox, riding in the last heat of the competition lived up to his top seeding with 1:07.621 to take victory over an impressive Brad Tuhi by just 0.03 seconds. Josh Haggerty claimed third overall and the Under 19 gold with a 1:09.680 in his first attempt at the grueling kilo.
Other Time Trial winners were Aly Doherty and Joshua Carpenter in the Under 15s, Laura Heywood and Nick Kergozou in the Under 17s, Jacq Dearlove, Erin Criglington, Peter Grandiek, Roger Nicholas and Michael White in the Masters, Kate Dunlevey in the Under 19 Women and Steph McKenzie in the Elite Women.
Friday’s Scratch race wins went the way of Emma Cumming, Hayden Strong, Laura Heywood, Neil Familton, Michael White, Kylie Young, Jennifer Muhl, Brad Tuhi and Matt Zenovich.
Saturday’s Sprint programme featured a personal best by Cycling Southland’s Coaching Facilitator Matt Archibald who showed the form which has earned him selection in the BikeNZ squad to race at the UCI World Cup in Beijing in January, registering 10.457 in qualifying and breezing through the later rounds to claim the Southland Sprint Trophy by beating Karl Watson in the final. Meanwhile Jeremy Presbury showed emphatic early season form to take an untroubled victory in the Under 19 Men.
Other sprint wins went to Laura Heywood, Nick Kergozou, Kate Dunlevey and Steph McKenzie,
Saturday’s programme concluded with Points Races and in one of the best possible finishes Michael White pipped Garry Smith in the final sprint to the line in the Masters Points race to claim the M1 gold with Neil Familton successfully defending his title in the M2 Points race. Other Points race winners were Hayden Strong, Madeleine Gough, Laura Heywood, Sequoia Cooper, Jennifer Muhl, Brad Tuhi and Liam Aitcheson.
Aitcheson’s win was particularly impressive as he launched attack after attack to be one of three riders to take a lap on the field and claim the overall race win.
Sunday’s final sessions featured Individual Pursuit wins for Neil Familton, Jennifer Muhl, Laura Heywood, Nick Kergozou, Jacq Dearlove, Erin Criglington, Peter Grandiek, Michael White, Liam Aitcheson and Brad Tuhi. White again proved too strong in the Masters Men’s Keirin with heavy favourites Steph McKenzie and Matt Archibald claiming the Elite titles.
Other Sunday racing featured derby wins for Corbin Strong, Aly Doherty and Hamish Beadle along with two more Strong wins in the Under 13 Boys Scratch and Time Trial.
Training squads will now be announced before the final selections are made to represent Southland at the Elite and Age Group Track Nationals at the ILT Velodrome early in 2012.
For full Race Report, Results and Photo Galleries click here.