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Young champion for Bev May Tour
Feb 13th, 12. The weekend's K.D.R.E Harcourts Morrinsville Bev May Women's Tour lived up to its fantastic 23 year history with two days of great racing, crowning new champions alongside multi-year winners.
The tour caters to all female riders from A grade to C grade plus U17, U15 and U13 girls. At the top of the results sheet was 18 year old Georgia Williams who joined Kiwi champions Cath Cheatley, Marina Duvjnak, Toni Bradshaw, Meshy Holt and Sarah Ulmer as the A Grade Champion of this tour.
Williams, who placed 6th in the World at the UCI Junior Road Championships time trial event last year, powered home to win the 12km opening stage time trial and she never gave up her yellow jersey for the rest of the tour.
"The tour went really well for me this year. The TT course suited me so I knew I had to go all out in it if I wanted to be up there in the Top 3," she told RoadCycling.co.nz this afternoon. "I was so pleased when I won the TT, but I had the pressure of keeping it for the next three stages. I was very pleased to hold it to the end."
Wiliams finished 5th at the top of the Stage 2 hill climb won by Kate Chilcott, she sprinted to 3rd behind Emily Collins in the bunch sprint on Stage 3 and finished safely in the bunch for the final stage criterium also won by Collins. Pip Sutton was her nearest competitor finishing 13sec behind on GC with Emma Crum 3rd (+56sec) and Karen Fulton 4th (+1min).
As in all tours, there are other fiercely fought competitions, not just for the yellow jersey.
For the 4th time, Emma Crum (23) was crowned the Bev May Tour Queen of the Mountain. Crum is heading back to Europe straight after her next Kiwi race, the NZCT Women's Tour of New Zealand which starts next week. This year she is joining French team Asptt Dijon, alongside fellow Kiwi Gen Whitson.
As well as her two stage wins, Emily Collins (21) also won the Sprint Ace competition.
"The weekend was definitely good racing and a great hit out and build up for the NZ Women's Tour next week," Collins shared. "We had a strong field of girls, both experienced and new/up and coming. It's a great few days of racing and it's always good fun with a nice relaxed atmosphere.
"It's also really cool to see so many young up and coming riders out there racing and doing so well. One of the young U17 riders, Lydia Rippon was out racing in the Vanderitten kit which was so cool to see! She did great as well, coming in 2nd place U17," said Collins who races in the US season for team Vanderkitten Focus, as does Stage 2 winner Kate Chilcott.
One of the more experienced riders in the field was Nelson's Karen Fulton. She wore the Sprint Ace jersey after Stages 2 and 3 but had to give it up after Collins dominated the sprints on the final stage criterium. Fulton finished 2nd in the Sprint Ace competition and 4th overall.
Fulton said that although she had to "race outside of my skin" to keep up with the young riders, she had a great tour.
"Bev and her clan do a great job and the tour always has really good gnarly circuits and hard racing," she said.
Unlike QOM Crum and Sprint Ace Collins, overall winner Williams is not racing next week's NZCT Women's Tour of New Zealand. Her next big goal is the Oceania Road Championships next month in Queenstown where she is looking foward to seeing how she goes against other elite riders.
"I don't have much planned for this year being first year out of school. I am quite keen to just ride and work a little after a busy year last year. No uni or overseas racing just yet. I will just do most of the NZ road and track races," she said.
All 2012 K.D.R.E Harcourts Morrinsville Bev May Tour Winners
Congratulations to all these winners...
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