2012 Tour champions crowned - Day 3 Wrap
7/10/2012 - Cycling Southland's Yunca Junior Cycle Tour of Southland was held in contrasting conditions over the weekend.
After Saturday's afternoon stage was abandoned for the first time in the event's 29 year history due to horrendous weather conditions at Te Tipua, yesterday's final stage at Grove Bush was raced under clear skies and sunshine.
Australian Ayden Toovey claimed the Under 19 Men's title with victory on the final stage after Central Otago's Liam Aitcheson had led from start to finish but ran out of legs on the last lap of the last stage. Aitcheson, a medalist for New Zealand at the recent UCI Juniors Track World Championships, had done little preparation for the event having stepped off his bike after the Worlds. He secured two outstanding breakaway stage victories but his legs gave up on him yesterday.
Wanganui's Cassie Cameron claimed the Under 19 Women's title by the narrowest of margins, winning a sprint finish yesterday over Southland's Georgia Timpany which required the photo finish camera to separate the two. The time bonuses earned from that win helped Cameron leap in to yellow by just three seconds over Alice Hay.
The Under 17 boys finished with a hugely impressive solo victory by Declan Baker who took the stage by nearly two minutes and catapulted himself in to third position overall. But former Yunca Tour Under 15 champion Jack Thompson added the Under 17 trophy to his collection with victory by 23 seconds with fellow Australian Michael Storer in second spot.
Madison Farrant triumphed in a closely fought Under 17 Girls classification while Campbell Stewart and Tori Saunders both proved to be a class above the Under 15 field in recording impressive victories. The Under 13 titles went the way of Hamish Keast and Nelson's Britney Kerr.
The cycling action now moves to the track with Cycling Southland hosting its annual Junior Track Cycling Carnival on Tuesday and Wednedsay nights with racing starting at 6:30pm both nights.
Weather wrecks havoc - Day 2 Wrap
The weather wrecked havoc on the Yunca Junior Tour of Southland today, forcing the cancellation of the scheduled afternoon stage at Te Tipua.
The 2012 field gamely battled the elements in the morning third stage on the aptly named "Beast of the East" circuit at Te Tipua in Eastern Southland, with the driving sleet and snow showers and strong cross-winds making for an even more beastly experience than normal.
Corbin Strong (Cycling Southland) picked up his second successive stage win beating Tour leader Hamish Keast and Bailey Ford to the line in a sprint finish. Keast's lead is 17 seconds to Ford with Sprint Ace Strong a further 6 seconds adrift in third. Britney Kerr extended her lead in the Under 13 Girls with an impressive ride to finish with the boys and take the stage by over three minutes, extending her classification lead to 4:54 with a day to race.
The Under 15 Girls saw the tour leaders grab contrasting stage wins. Tori Saunders left the field in her wake, recording a solo victory by 1:18 seconds over Phoebe McCaughen with Beth Rees in third 2:12 behind the winner. Saunders' GC buffer is now a commanding 1:38 over McCaughen and only disaster tomorrow will keep her form taking home the 2012 title. She currently leads all three of the grade's classifications and will wear yellow while the Sprint Ace jersey will start tomorrow on the back of Jessie Saunders and McCaughen will wear the Queen of the Mountains jersey.
The Under 15 Boys was again decided by a sprint finish and as was the case yesterday, Campbell Stewart had the legs to take the win over Joshua Toovey and Josh Carpenter. Stewart's overall lead is 19 seconds to King of the Mountains Chris Denholm, while Carpenter will wear the green sprint ace jersey with tour leader Stewart having a commanding 10 point lead in that classification.
The Under 17 girls and U19 women also finished in a bunch with Madison Farrant the first U17 across the line from Kate Stewart, Olivia Podmore and Ione Johnson. That saw Farrant leap in to the tour lead by just three seconds over sprint leader Podmore with Charlotte Hand in third a further three seconds back. The Under 19 women is also a tight affair with less than a second separating stage three winner and new tour leader Alice Hay and Cassie Cameron.
The Under 17 Boys has a new leader with Jack Edwards, courtesy of his stage win this morning going in to yellow. He and fellow Australian Michael Storer, who will take the King of the Mountain jersey in to Sunday, rode impressively to grab a breakaway stage victory. Sprint leader Regan Gough led the bunch home in third.
Meanwhile, for the second successive day, Liam Aitcheson left the Under 19 Men's field behind in taking another hugely impressive victory. Aitcheson made his move on the first of three laps opening up a lead of a minute over the field. He found assistance from Ayden Toovey and Matt Zenovich over the final lap and was able to kick clear of Toovey in the final sprint to take a 4 second stage victory, with Zenovich grabbing third at 46 seconds and Josh Haggerty leading the bunch home 1:29 after Aitcheson. Aitcheson also appears to have the sprint classification sewn up with a 19 point lead. Chad Elliston will wear the green jersey tomorrow morning courtesy of Aitcheson's grip on yellow, while Zenovich leads the KOM with a day to ride.
With the scheduled fourth stage being sensibly abandoned, racing resumes with the traditional Sunday morning inner city criterium from outside Wensley's Cycles on Tay Street from 8:30am Sunday morning, with the final stage to take place from the Grove Bush Hall Sunday afternoon.
Full results and video highlights of this morning's racing will be posted later in the day.
Sprint finishes mark opening day of Yunca Tour - Day 1 Wrap
05/10/2012 - Torrential rain and driving wind could not stop a gripping first day at the 29th edition of Cycling Southland's Yunca Junior Tour of Southland today.
After a delayed start by 15 minutes, the record field of Australasia's best junior road cyclists took to Teretonga Raceway to contest an Individual Time Trial and afternoon kermesse races across the eight separate age categories.
The Under 13s had to brave the worst of the weather but it didn't stop Britney Kerr from Nelson stamping her class on the event taking a 31 second win over Madeleine Gough with Ella Blakely in third.
In the boys, Cycling Southland's Hamish Keast grabbed the first yellow jersey with a 10 second victory, recording a time of 4 minutes 20 for the 2.6km distance. Bailey Ford (Cycling Nelson) was just 10 seconds adrift with Jared Pidcock (Pegasus) in third a further 10 seconds back.
The Under 15 girls time trial was a closely contested affair with Tori Saunders from The Racing Kangaroos taking a narrow three second lead in to the afternoon racing over Phoebe McCaughen (Pegasus) and Beth Rees (Wagga Wagga) in third, eight seconds from the lead.
Campbell Stewart of Bike Manawatu made an early statement in the Under 15 Boys with a blistering time of 3:34 to go in to the yellow jersey with an eight second buffer from team-mate Chris Denholm and Joshua Smith (Pegasus).
The Under 17 girls appears to be a preview of what will be an extremely close competition with 11 riders finishing within 10 seconds of each other. Ultimately Pegasus' Holly Edmondston claimed the win by three seconds from club-mate Charlotte Hand and Hamilton's Madison Farrant.
The top two Under 17 boys could only be separated by hundredths of seconds with Daniel Fitter from Sunshine Coast Cycling taking the narrowest of victories from James Thompson (Brisbane Cycling Racing Institute) and Jack Edwards (Penrith Cycling) just three seconds back in third.
Junior World Track representative Cassie Cameron from Wanganui carried her pursuiting form in to today's racing with a six second win over Maddi Campbell (Pegasus) and Georgia Timpany (Cycling Southland).
While the track legs held fellow Worlds squad members and Subway Pro Cycling's Dylan Kennett and Tayla Harrison in good stead. Kennett completed his lap in just 3:17 to take a six second lead over Harrison with Southland's Josh Haggerty making a fine start to record the same time as Harrison.
The afternoon kermesse saw some great racing including a number of sprint finishes and one impressive breakaway solo victory.
Corbin Strong (Cycling Southland) showed a clean set of heels down the final straight to take out the U13 race from the yellow jersey-wearer Hamish Keast while Britney Kerr made sure her yellow wasn't going anywhere, dominating the U13 girls to win by just under a minute.
The Under 15 girls featured a double act from Jessie and Tori Saunders with the former taking out a narrow sprint win with Natasha Dickison of Pegasus winning the bunch sprint for third 12 seconds later. The Under 15 boys proved to be a cracking finish with the field spread eight wide as they descended on the finish line. In the end Campbell Stewart's speed carried him to an impressive double over the opening two stages giving him a 14 second overall lead heading in to day 2. Nicholas Edwards (Penrith) got up for second with Josh Carpenter (Cycling Southland) snatching third to move into fourth position on GC.
It was a Pegasus one-two in the Under 17 girls with track teammates Olivia Podmore and Holly Edmondston taking line honours. Podmore outsprinted her club-mate for the stage win which also brought her up to second position overall, trailing Edmondston by 5 seconds. The Under 17 boys saw a 30-strong bunch finish with Regan Gough (Cycling CHB) taking the win by half a bike length from the Tour leader Daniel Fitter and Jack Edwards. Just five seconds separates the top four riders on general classification with Fitter wearing yellow in to tomorrow's second day.
The Under 19 women's race came down to the battle of two Alices. In the end Alice Hay (Pegasus) was able to get to the line just ahead of Alice Riddell (Marsden Wheelers) to claim the stage with the bunch arriving three seconds later. That means that Cassie Cameron retains the yellow jersey but her lead has been cut to just two seconds by Hay.
In what was possibly the most impressive performance of the day, Junior World track representative Liam Aitcheson (Central Otago-Wakatipu) soloed to a hugely impressive victory, holding a fast finishing bunch at bay to take the stage by 15 seconds from Dylan Kennett with Chad Elliston leading the bunch home a second later.
Aitcheson got himself out to a lead of 30 seconds three laps from home, but try as they might, the bunch wasn't able to make any impression until it was too late.
It was enough to jump Aitcheson in to the Tour leaders jersey by six seconds over Kennett with Haggerty and Harrison 17 seconds from the lead.
Racing continues with two road stages at Te Tipua on Saturday before concluding on Sunday.
For full race and classification results, click here.
Record field for 2012 Yunca Tour
4/10/2012 - A record field of 189 will take to the highways of Southland over the weekend for Cycling Southland’s annual Yunca-sponsored Junior Tour of Southland. Another strong contingent of Australians have travelled across the Tasman to take on the best junior riders New Zealand has to offer in what has in recent years become one of Australasia’s premier junior road cycling events.
Tour Director Bruce Ross believes the Yunca Tour is a breeding ground for future champions. “The event is in its 29th year and its past is littered with names that have gone on to big things in cycling. Tom Scully, Eddie Dawkins, Cameron Karwowski, Cathy Jordon, Sequoia Cooper, Pieter Bulling, Matt Randall, Glen Thomson and Glenn McLeay all got their first taste of multi-staged competitive road racing in the Yunca Tour,” Mr Ross said
The 2012 event will feature some familiar names from the recent UCI Juniors Track World Championships with New Zealand representatives Cassie Cameron, Racquel Sheath, Dylan Kennett, Liam Aitcheson and Tayla Harrison will all line up in the Under 19 grade.
Kennett is preparing to ride for New Zealand at the Glasgow round of the UCI World Track Cycling Cup in what will be his first taste of Elite international competition while he and Harrison are both set to make their PowerNet Tour of Southland debuts later this month.
Last year’s Under 17 boys winner Connor Stead from Pegasus club in Christchurch returns to defend his title won last year and will face stiff competition with impressive Australian Jack Edwards likely to be right in the mix all weekend. The girls competition should also provide some spectacular racing with Manawatu’s Kate Stewart looking to follow up her podium finish last year and Emma Bilston from the 14-strong Racing Kangaroos squad steps up to a new age category as the defending Yunca Tour U15 champion.
Perhaps the best chance of a local victory comes in the Under 15 Boys where half the field will ride under the Cycling Southland banner. Hayden Strong earned a top ten result as a first year Under 15 and with names like Joshua Carpenter, Hamish Beadle, Brayden Stephens and Tom Sexton also in the field, hopes are high for a strong local showing.
Racing Kangaroo Tori Saunders will start as favourite in the Under 15 Girls after her fourth place finish last year with Christchurch’s Phoebe McCaughen and diminutive Western Australian Tahlay Christie also likely to feature.
Meanwhile, the sport’s youngest star will line up in the Under 13 grade with 21 riders set to rip in to the three days of racing tomorrow.
This year’s tour begins with the traditional first day at Teretonga raceway tomorrow (Friday). A one-lap individual time trial over the 2.62 kilometre circuit starts with the full field departing at 30 second intervals from 11:00am. The afternoon stage is also based at Teretonga with kermesse racing, hugely popular in Europe, over varying distances.
Saturday sees the action shift to Te Tipua for two challenging undulating stages over the Beast of the East and Newvale Coal circuits, while Sunday starts with the traditional inner-city criterium starting in Tay Street, followed by the final and longest stage of the event from the Grove Bush Hall.
After a rest day on Monday the riders return to the boards of the Stadium Southland Velodrome for Cycling Southland’s traditional ILT-sponsored Junior Track Carnival where Cycling Southland’s Junior World track representatives Tom Beadle, Kate Dunlevey and Jeremy Presbury will also be in action. Racing starts at 6:30 next Tuesday and Wednesday evening with tickets only $10 and available from the door on the night.