This week’s Cycling Southland annual general meeting presents a formal opportunity to look back at the last 12 months and look forward to the club’s next exciting chapter.
There’s little debate the past year has been the biggest in our club’s history, headlined by hosting the 2012 UCI Juniors Track World Championships. It took a massive investment from both our volunteer base and from our financial reserves but like any good investment, it will pay dividends for years to come.
The best part about last year’s success is that it is shared by all those who have contributed over Cycling Southland’s rich history to put a little cycling club in the position to contribute as the single largest funder to the event. The countless and tireless years of service from names like Ineson, Sycamore, Tall, Ross, Broad, Canny and co, laid the foundation for the current crop (which includes all of the afore-mentioned names) to put Cycling Southland, the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome and Invercargill on the world track cycling map.
Preparations are being finalised for an elite track cycling event in November to be staged in the city to continue to build on this hard-earned reputation. So, don’t for a minute think we are suffering a Junior Worlds hangover and slowing down any!
Whilst we are on the topic of future events, entries opened for both our junior and senior Tours of Southland over the last fortnight. The 30th Yunca Junior Tour is first up from October 4 to 6, with the senior edition to be held November 3 to 9.
But before we hit the highways on our road tours later in the year, we have the WHK Corporate Pursuit over the next two weekends. Last week’s finals of the Lone Star Speights Corporate Roller Racing provided a sneak preview on who will start as the bookies favourite.
Seven teams were back to take on the team effort after qualifying over the past four weeks. The finals saw four teams move through to the finale’s ride-off, after setting times up to ten seconds quicker than they had achieved in the previous weeks’ heats.
In the end, the inaugural champion was Fonterra, taking the title by a slim 0.504 seconds from AWS Legal with NZ Fire Service a close third. All three teams recorded record-breaking individual efforts with times in the 22 second range over the 500 metre distance.
Our 30 corporate teams now shift their focus to the WHK Time Trial on Sunday (4th August) before the knock out finals competition is held on Sunday 11th.
The first team to measure themselves against the clock this Sunday will be the Colac Bay Tavern at 12:25pm. Three hours later, we will know who will be contesting the division 1 and 2 honours on Finals day.
Based on what we’ve seen at the Lone Star on the rollers over the last month, it should be an outstanding contest. Entry is by gold coin with children free over both velodrome race days.
Nick Jeffrey is Cycling Southland's Chief Executive