Australian Rylee Field (Team BridgeLane) has won the 2020 New Zealand Cycle Classic title and was awarded the yellow jersey in Masterton while Dylan Kennett (St George Continental) won the fifth and final stage following a sprint finish ahead of Jensen Plowright (BridgeLane).
On general classification, Field went into today’s 120km stage with a 26 second advantage over Black Spoke’s Aaron Gate following his outstanding solo performance up Admiral Hill on Saturday. The time gap, coupled with a strong ride today, in which he finished 19th over the line, enabled him to retain the jersey.
Field told the large appreciative crowd at the finish line at Mitre 10 Mega Masterton, that included his mother Kym-Maree, that his team had come together well and raced for each other all week. This fact was reflected in the fact that BridgeLane had featured on the podium every day of the Tour and the strong team camaraderie was evident at the end of each stage.
In a day where points mattered, especially in the sprints classification, racing began early on. Within minutes a breakaway of five riders including Gate, Field, Team Sapura’s Marcus Culey, KINAN’s Hiroshi Tsubaki and Capjaks Castelli’s Logan Griffin went off the front of the peloton before being caught a short time later.
Culey then did an amazing solo ride heading into lap three of the flat, 12 lap circuit and at one point had 1min 02 secs over the peloton. He was chased by a group of 18 riders and at 85km was joined by Black Spoke’s James Oram out in front with the pair hurtling along the country lanes flanked with spectators cheering them on.
They were eventually caught 10km later at which point Gate, Plowright and Kees Duyvesteyn made an attack off the front of the peloton. With two laps to go, the group was all together with several riders trying to attack. But in the final straight it was St George Continental and Team BridgeLane who positioned themselves to take the stage win.
Kennett told the crowd his team had gone into planning mode the night before.
“We talked about it last night and did the maths … we talked about what a fast finish it would be and the boys positioned me well,” he said.
Kennett’s strong performance also saw him awarded the WIZ Wireless Sprints Classification Jersey on a countback from Plowright, whom he praised for his “classy” riding and determination over the five day tour.
Culey, who was awarded the most aggressive jersey, described his ride as a “good day out” and said it capped off a terrific start to 2020 – coming just a wee after he finished third in the Australian cycling championships.
Team New Zealand’s Corbin Strong who crossed the line in third place today was also awarded the Fagan Motors Under-23 Classification Jersey. He thanked Cycling New Zealand for putting together such a strong team which included world omnium champion Campbell Stewart.
“It was great out there today, the team really gelled well this week,” he said.
New Zealand Cycle Classic Race Director Jorge Sandoval says the tour was a huge success.
“I was really happy to bring the New Zealand Cycle Classic back to Wairarapa this year. All the team managers and riders loved their accommodation and the stages, and I am very proud of the team I had behind me who helped put on a terrific event that went throughout the entire Wairarapa region,” said Sandoval.
Stage Five Winners:
1. Dylan Kennett (St George Continental)
2. Jensen Plowright (Team BridgeLane)
3. Corbin Strong (New Zealand National Team)
Trust House Individual General Classification Jersey:
Rylee Field (BridgeLane)
WIZ Wireless Sprints Classification Jersey:
Dylan Kennett (St George Continental)
Mitre 10 Mega Masterton King of the Mountain Classification Jersey:
Finn Fisher-Black (New Zealand National team)
Fagan Motors Under-23 Classificiation Jersey:
Corbin Strong (New Zealand National team)
Mobile Communications Service (MCS) Most Aggressive Rider Jersey:
Marcus Culey (Team Sapura)
Cross Country Rentals Teams Classification Jersey
Black Spoke Cycling Academy