The Southland District Council cycling team overcame a shortage of riders and an injury-filled year to win the Harrex Corporate Pursuit event at the Invercargill Velodrome yesterday.
The team, led by Mark Day, was one of the favourites to win the prize despite having only four riders, two fewer than most of the other teams.
Day also celebrated bouncing back from a nasty crash earlier this year.
It happened when a rider in front of him took a bend during a scratch race, and swerved slightly into Day's path.
"My front wheel was taken out," he said. "Three of us went down . . . it happened so quickly. One of the other guys did his collarbone, I did my AC joint and did some ribs in."
Despite the pain, Day made a fast recovery. Within a week, he was back on his bike.
"I had to get back on to make sure I could do it," he said. "You couldn't do anything serious [because] every time you suck in air, it puts pressure on the shoulder and hurt the ribs."
Having coached the SDC pursuit team last year after two previous rides of his own, he decided to race this year only after the council could muster only four other riders for the team.
An experienced track and road cyclist, he also ran coaching sessions for the other members of the team.
"I'd say we're one of the smoothest teams - it's technique more than anything," he said.
Another experienced team member, Jamie Cunningham, broke his shoulder in a bunch sprint at the end of the road race last year, so a strong performance was not a given.
Day had said their main rivals would be the BNZ and Calder Stewart teams. In the end, Calder Stewart came in second, with BNZ third. Division Two was won by Whyte's Gravel Supplies, with Stonewood Homes second and The Radio Network third.
Article courtesy of The Southland Times