Riders had to overcome wintry conditions as well as a demanding course on day three of the BikeNZ Club Road National Championships in Queenstown today.
Blustery winds, rain, and cold temperatures made for a tough day on the bike, as riders battled it out for national champion titles on the road.
Central Otago-Wakatipu local Sophie Williamson seemed to dismiss the tough conditions, riding impressively to claim the elite women’s title in convincing fashion, after making a decisive breakaway with Ashleigh Neave of Ramblers Cycling Club just after the halfway mark in the race.
Williamson then cleared out to take a solo victory with a winning margin of over a minute.
Aucklander Racquel Sheath (North Harbour Cycling Club) managed to snatch third place in a bunch sprint, crossing the line nearly five minutes behind Williamson.
Despite being an Alexandra local, Willliamson said the conditions added to the suffering on an already challenging course
“It was just freezing, I can’t feel my toes,” Williamson said. “It was a tough day for everyone. I don’t think you can get used to this weather. It’s not much fun to ride in at all, all you can do is give it a nudge at get it over and done with as fast as possible.”
“My plan was always to attack and make it a hard race and see what happens. I didn’t know that that attack was going to make it but we just kept it steady and it turned out it did.
“You never know how your legs are going to go during the race, so you just see what you can do.”
The under 19 women’s race finished in a tight sprint between Devon Hiley and Robin Hacker-Carey, with Hiley edging her way for the win. Maddi Campbell won the bunch sprint to take third.
The men also featured during racing today, with David Rowlands of Port Nicholson Poneke Cycling Club taking out the men’s masters two race after a solo breakaway in the second half of the race. Rowlands was trailed by Peter Murphy and Kevin Strongman, both of Gisborne Cycling Club, who crossed the line just over a minute behind.
Stratford Cycling Club’s Mel Titter out-sprinted Cameron Alexander (Timaru Cycling Club) and Stu Crooks (Cycling Otago) to win the men’s masters two race
Racing concludes tomorrow with the elite and under-23 men’s race, as well as master four and six men, hand bikes, and men’s paracycling.
Under 19 women: Devon Hiley (Counties Manukau) 2:19:02.96, 1; Robin Hacker-Carey (Te Awamutu) 2:19:03.04, 2; Maddi Campbell (Pegasus Cycling) 2:19:42.54, 3.
Elite women: Sophie Williamson (Central Otago-Wakatipu) 3:01:07.93, 1; Ashleigh Neave (Ramblers) 3:02:11.03, 2; Racquel Sheath (North Harbour) 3:06:04.87, 3.
Master 1 men: Mel Titter (Stratford) 2:58:52.96, 1; Cameron Alexander (Timaru) 2:58:53.02, 2; Stu Crooks (Cycling Otago) 2:58:53.14, 3.
Master 1 women: Jeannie Blackmore (Pegasus Cycling) 2:29:10.47, 1; Kerry-Ann Harris (Counties Manukau Cycling) 2:34:47.21, 2; Renita van der Helm (Port Nicholson Poneke) 2:40:51.37, 3.
Master 2 women: Erin Criglington (Cycling Southland) 2:28:28.14, 1; Tammy Harvey (Counties Manukau Cycling) 2:28:29.23, 2; Shirlene Rollo (Cycling Southland) 2:36:20.22; 3.
Master 2 men: David Rowlands (Port Nicholson Poneke) 2:42:50.30, 1; Peter Murphy (Gisborne) 2:43:56:66, 2; Kevin Strongman (Gisborne) 2:44:00.37, 3.
Master 3 men: Geoff Keogh (Cycling Otago) 2:49:06.59, 1; Mark Spessot (Cycling Otago) 2:49.06.72, 2; Michael Jones (Morrinsville Wheelers) 2:49:11.85, 3;
Master 3 women: Tracy Clark (Pegasus Cycling) 1:39:45.25, 1; Tania Radman (Tasman Wheelers) 1:39:46.51, 2; Toni Hoskin (Gisborne) 1:40:27.30, 3.
Master 4 women: Judy Ross (Pegasus Cycling) 1:40:36.70, 1; Sara Harnett (Pegasus Cycling) 1:40:38.28, 2; Dianna Borman (Kapiti) 1:40:40.37, 3.
Master 5 women: Lesley Mouat (Athletics Masterton) 1:38:17.81, 1; Mary Jones (Pegasus Cycling) 1:38:50.91, 2; Anne Kerr (Papanui) 1:39:57.49, 3.
Master 6 women: Denese Keenan (Cycling Timaru) 1:39:59.30, 1; Lori Slattery (Pegasus Cycling) 1:41:40.63, 2; Rosalie Nicolson (Pegasus Cycling) 1:49:20.88, 3.
Master 7 women: Christine van Hoppe (Tasman Wheelers) 1:52:33:86, 1; Jan MacPherson (Central Otago Wakatipu) 2:03:03.01, 2.
CAPTION: Devon Hiley on her way to the Under 19 women’s victory at the BikeNZ national club cycling in Queenstown today.
Photo courtesy: Fallon Photography