Cooper on top in Cycle Classic opener

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Stage 1 - podium 150Jan 28th, ’15.  Joseph Cooper of Avanti Racing was at the front of an Avanti 1-2 in the opening prologue time trial of the NZCT Cycle Classic today.  Cooper blitzed the 3.5km course, winning by a full 10 seconds ahead of teammate Fraser Gough, with Morgan Smith of Subaru Albion completing the top 3.

  Stage 1 - podium 320From l-r: Morgan Smith, Joseph Cooper & Fraser Gough on the podium after day 1, photo proviJan 28th, ’15.  Joseph Cooper of Avanti Racing was at the front of an Avanti 1-2 in the opening prologue time trial of the NZCT Cycle Classic today.  Cooper blitzed the 3.5km course, winning by a full 10 seconds ahead of teammate Fraser Gough, with Morgan Smith of Subaru Albion completing the top 3.

Manawatu Golf Course played host to the start of New Zealand’s only UCI classified tour today, the 28th year of the Tour run by Jorge Sandoval.  The out and back course on Centennial Drive meanwhile provided the principle battleground for the race of truth; the opener of the 2015 New Zealand Cycle Classic.  76 riders from New Zealand & Australia, all the way to as far as England, Germany and Denmark lined up one-by-one for the short time trial.  Although just 3.5km the time lost here could well be all important for potential GC candidates.  Up ahead of the field, over five days of racing a total of 587km will be covered by the peloton.

The top ten on the stage were eventually separated by 14 seconds in total, with Avanti Racing filling four of those places.  At the top of the scale though, head and shoulders above the rest, was Cooper, who took just 4.09mins to complete the course; 10 seconds clear of teammate Gough and Morgan Smith.  Budget Forklifts’ Daniel Barry was 4th in 4.21mins; with national U23 time trial champion James Oram completing the top five.  

It was a great stage for the U23 riders in fact, with Gough, Oram, Nick Bain of Nature Valley Avanti and Dion Smith – teammate of Oram on the national team – all inside the top 10.

Tomorrow’s stage sees the 76 riders undertake a 132.7km road race, with two King of the Mountain climbs and two intermediate sprints. Avanti Racing will be defending both Yellow and White – with Fraser Gough’s U23 jersey – and it will be a day for other teams to show their intentions.

Stage 1 (more results):

Pos Rider Team Time
1

Joseph Cooper

Avanti Racing Team

4.09

2

Fraser Gough

Avanti Racing Team

+0.10

3

Morgan Smith

Team Subaru Albion

st

4

Daniel Barry

Budget Forklifts

+0.12

5

James Oram

NZCT New Zealand National Team

st

6

Tyler Spurrell

Data#3 Symantec Racing Team

+0.13

7

Nick Bain

Nature Valley Avanti 

st

8

Taylor Gunman

Avanti Racing Team

st

9

Dion Smith

NZCT New Zealand National Team

+0.14

10

Jason Christie

Avanti Racing Team

st

 

 

 

By:  Ed Wright & Ashley Cassin

 

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