The highlight was the introduction of track racing at the Avantidrome along with the road competition, with more than 120 riders achieving the accreditation to race on the track, a number that event manager Errol Newlands predicts will grow significantly next year.
Riders braved bitterly cold and rainy conditions on Saturday for the 16km team time trials and age group road races with Baradene winning all female team time trial events from Year 7 and 8 to under-20. Palmerston North won the Year 7 and 8 as well as the under-20 titles for boys, Takapuna Grammar winning the under 16 race.
The rain cleared for afternoon road races, with the key challenge being a significant hill climb approximately 1km from the finish although most titles were decided by sprint finishes.
Rangitoto College’s Bryony Botha was a stand-out in the under-20 competition with her nearest rival, Grace Anderson (Epsom Girls) 30 seconds back.
Alex West beat out fellow Palmerston North BHS teammate Luke Mudgway by 27 seconds in the under-20 boys’ road race.
Both Mudgway and Botha are part of the BikeNZ team to contest the UCI Juniors World Track Championships in Seoul next month.
Sunday’s racing was over a criterium course around St Peters College, with the 1.7km course fast with tight corners, making for bigger bunches.
Baradene College was again on form, with Ally Wollaston and Jenna Merrick winning the under 14 and under 15 races respectively. Kiaan Watts (Hilltop Primary) was a standout in the under 14 boys, beating out Callum Walsh (St Kentigern) to reverse the result of Saturday’s road race.
The highly anticipated track competition went off without a hitch, with standouts including the well-performed Sophie-Leigh Bloxham (Horowhenua College), Michaela Drummond (Palmerston North Girls) and Campbell Stewart (Palmerston North Boys) who led the way. Both Stewart and Drummond will compete in the New Zealand team at October’s Oceania Track Championships in Australia.
The overall winners of the points shield, which did not include the track competition this year, were Baradene College for the girls with 133 points and Palmerston North Boys on 119 points.
Points Shield Results:
Girls: Baradene College 133 points, 1; Waikato Diocesan 87 points, 2; Palmerston North GHS 72 points, 3.
Boys: Palmerston North BHS 119 points, 1; St Kentigern College 110 points, 2; Takapuna Grammar 87 points, 3.
By: Ed Wright