Over the last five days a group of 15 Southland cyclists have travelled up north and have competed in the Te Awamutu tour, along with a six-strong parent support crew. So far the trip has been a great experience for everyone after a good track national’s session and now bringing great success on the road too.
The highlight of the trip so far has been the outstanding riding by U15 rider Hamish Keast who took out first in his age group after winning every stage in an outstanding series.
Three other Southland boys - Brayden Stephens, Hayden Strong and Tom Sexton finished in the top 10 in their U17 age group, in the Te Awamutu tour.
Meanwhile, U19 Nick Kergozou finished 9th overall after a great comeback from 17th following a big week at BikeNZ Camp, while Anton O’Connell finished in the top 20 in a strong field of 56. Corbin Strong had to settle for 12th, after a mechanical in the last stage moving him from second to 12th an unlucky end to a good tour for Corbin with him taking out the KOM jersey.
In the U17 field, Hamish Beadle showed his true sprinter qualities and took out a couple of sprints thoughout the tour to finish 3rd in the sprint jersey ranking. The two U17 girls in the group, Emma Cumming and Kendall Kilpatrick, both ended up with an unlucky start to the trip with two big crashes that had them getting pretty close to the North Island roads and getting to know the medical centre quite well. Good work Emma and Kendall for hanging in there!
Samuel Miller ended his tour with a crash into the electrical fence early in the last stage - shocking stuff that! Matt Nunn and Jack Pedler had outstanding performances throughout the tour exceeding their own expectations. Caleb Hope showed true determination to finish each stage.
In the U19 women's field Sophie Williamson - hot off her Vital Signs Tour de Lakes win - had a solid start before withdrawing from the event. Meanwhile, Georgia Vessey put in some solid racing to finish 4th in the KOM and 6th in the GC, while Laura Heywood battled strongly to finish all events.
Overall, Southland riders are happy with their results and thankful to all the parent’s on the camp for the great camp environment and help. BRING ON ROAD NATIONALS!!!