Cycling Southland started its 2012 representative racing year at the Eilte Road Nationals in Christchurch today in solid fashion.
Kylie Young carried her impressive recent form into the new year with a fifth placed finish in the Women's Time Trial. Young completed the 25 kilometre distance in 37:09.06, just 23 seconds ahead of club-mate Laura Thompson who finished sixth.
The 2012 time trial was unsurprisingly dominated by the members of the BikeNZ Women's Team Pursuit with Lauren Ellis claiming gold in 35:21.39 ahead of Jaime Nielsen and Alison Shanks. Let's hope that is the first of many podiums for this threesome in 2012.
The Elite Men's Time Trial featured Scotty Cunningham as Southland's lone male starter. Cunningham's 54:22.11 for 40 kilometres earned him tenth place in the Elite category, won by Subway Pro Cycling's Paul Odlin in 49:35.74 from team-mate Sam Horgan and Jesse Sergent in third.
The Under 23 Time Trial also raced over 40 kilometres was won by Mico ProTrain Cycling's Michael Vink in 49:48.02 with Jason Christie taking silver and Fraser Gough bronze.
The Champs continue over the weekend with the Elite Women's Road Race over 123 kilometres beginning at midday on Saturday and featuring Southlanders Gabby Vermunt and NZ triathlon representative Nicky Samuels of Wanaka riding in Southland colours.
The Men's race begins at 10am on Sunday and will include Southlanders Brad Tuhi, Mathew Marshall and Tom Scully and Dillon Bennett riding in Subway Pro Cycling Team colours in the Under 23 race. Alexandra's James Williamson will line up in the Elite category and ride for Southland following the demise of Pure Black Racing.
Follow the Champs live at www.elitenationals.co.nz.