The 2013 Southland Time Trial Championships were held on near perfect conditions on McQuarrie Street today. 44 riders tested themselves against the clock with some eye-catching rides, two weeks out from the Club Road Nationals in Queenstown.
Titles were handed out across 13 age categories, from Under 13 to Masters 6 with the challenging Gorge Road course providing a key benchmark for riders eyeing nationals.
Josh Miller started the day, pipping Hunter Gough by less than two seconds over their 10 kilometre Under 13 time trial, while Madeleine Gough completed the fastest 10km of the day, winning the Under 15 Girls in 22:42.
Hamish Keast turned in another strong ride in winning the Under 15 boys event by more than a minute, averaging 34.77 km/h to take gold ahead of Corbin Strong and Samuel Miller. Mary Marshall and Peter Grandiek also both earned deserved gold medals in the Masters 6 category, completing their 15 kilometres in 31:00 and 37:36 respectively.
Makayla Smith turned in one of the rides of the day to win the Under 17 girls 15km time trial by over three minutes. Her time of 25:51 saw her average a shade under 35 km/h to earn the gold medal with Alex Bodle taking silver and Lucy Timapany bronze.
The Under 17 boys medals were decided by mere seconds. Tom Sexton shaded Brayden Stephens by four seconds to take gold with a winning time over 15 kilometres of 23:56 (37.6km/h) while Hayden Strong and Hamish Beadle were seperated by a solitary second in the battle for bronze. Strong snuck in front for the final medal in 25:05.
Kate Wilson took out the Under 19 Women's event in 30:14 while Luke Macpherson, fresh from his impressive runner-up finish in the Vital Signs Tour de Lakes, took out the Elite Men's gold over 40 kilometres, averaging 41.75km/h in recording 57:29.
Erin Criglington cut out her 25 kilometres to win the Masters Women gold by nearly three minutes in 41:07 (36.48 km/h) with Kylea Gough earning silver in a gutsy performance, given recent illness, and Sam Kopae pipping Shirlene Rollo for bronze.
Sier Vermunt could lay claim to the ride of the day, recording the fastest Masters time of the day in winning the 45-plus category. He averaged 39.7 km/h to record 37:47 with Neil Familton breathing down his neck in second, just five seconds adrift and Andrew Ward taking bronze in 40:05. Derek Tan took out the 35-44 Masters in 37:49 with Andrew Lienert taking silver.
Junior World Track team mates Josh Haggerty and Liam Aitcheson pushed each other all the way to the line in the Under 19 Men. After 25 kilometres, Haggerty took gold by 17 seconds with a winning time of 35 minutes (42.86 km/h average speed) with Aitcheson winning silver and Nick Kergozou bronze.
The Southland Road Championships conclude with the Road Race Championships at Te Tipua on Sunday.