From The Southland Times
Cycling Southland’s corporate pursuit event was taken to a new level yesterday.
It took a massive step up as far as spectators went and the competition got a lot more intense as well.
The Harrex Group Ccorporate Pursuit has become a regular event on the Cycling Southland calendar in recent years. In fact, it has become one of the sport’s major events.
Yesterday highlighted that as a record 34 teams – made up of mainly novice riders – took to the ILT Velodrome in Invercargill.
Each team of four took part in the Italian pursuit racing, which sees one rider drop off each lap.
As well as the 150-odd riders of all shapes and sizes, a big crowd turned up to watch the event with most of the Velodrome seats full.
Cycling Southland boss Nick Jeffrey said the increase in spectator numbers was something they had pushed this year as they used the event as a way to promote track cycling in Southland.
He said the corporate pursuit was a good way to get spectators along to watch cycling who otherwise might not have ventured down to the Velodrome. The hope was that some of those who turned up yesterday may decide to come along to watch some of the high profile cyclists go about their business when carnivals are held in Invercargill in the future.
Jeffrey also said the corporate pursuit had unearthed some potential future Southland reps.
It was again the YMCA and Police teams that contested the division one final this year, with the two teams again taking the level of competition up a gear.
On the road to the final the two teams both rode 1 minute 13 seconds times to beat the previous corporate pursuit records set last year. However, there was a feeling around cycling officials that the two teams were holding something back in the lead up to the final and that proved to be the case.
The two teams produced a stunning final with the YMCA recording a blistering 1min 12.068sec to defend the division one title in record time.
For more on the Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit click here.