Despite the tough training that Georgia Williams is currently in the middle of with the Cycling New Zealand track team, she still had enough strength to take the national title, photo Eugene Bonthuys

Georgia Williams (North Harbour) took the senior women’s title at the Vittoria Club Road National Championships on Sunday.  She out sprinted breakaway companion Amelia Watkinson (Ramblers Cycling Club), with Elyse Fraser (Canterbury Track Cycling) taking third.

A strong field lined up for the four lap, 80 kilometre race, with the senior and under 23 women starting together. The starting lineup included the members of Cycling New Zealand’s endurance track squad, who used the race as part of their Olympic preparation.

The bunch stayed together for the early part of the race as riders struggled to warm up in the freezing conditions. However, it all changed during the second part of the race as a group of three riders managed to break clear of the field. The break was made up of Williams, Watkinson, and an under 23 riders, Grace Anderson (Auckland Central Cycling Club). The break worked well together and built a substantial lead over the bunch behind.

“It worked out well that the three of us got away. Amelia, Grace and I all worked well together and did our fair share. I was a bit worried at one stage when our time gap suddenly went from over two minutes down to 1:30. I knew there were lots of strong girls in the bunch that could work to catch us,” said Williams.

However, the gap stabilised again, and it was time to start thinking about the finish, and in particular the steep lower slopes of the climb up to the line.  With Williams’ track pedigree, it was vital for Watkinson to try and dislodge the North Harbour rider on the steep part of the climb. However, try as she might, Williams clung to her rear wheel, and there was a sense of inevitability about the outcome as they reached the flatter upper section and started to wind up for the line. Watkinson gave Williams a good run, but Williams proved too strong and took the win, with Watkinson finishing just behind her in second. Fraser proved the strongest of the chasing bunch, taking bronze ahead of Rushlee Buchanan (Te Awamutu Sports Cycling Club) in fourth.

For Williams, the win came as a bit of a surprise.  “I didn’t really have any expectations for the race as I’ve had a hard week training down here with the NZ track squad. I just wanted a hard exciting race!” she said.


Pos. Rider Team Time


Georgia Williams North Harbour Cycling Club 2.20.38


Amelia Watkinson Ramblers Cycling Club Inc 2.20.39


Elyse Fraser Canterbury Track Cycling 2.22.07


Rushlee Buchanan Te Awamutu Sports Cycling Club 2.22.10


Sharlotte Lucas Papanui Cycling Club Inc 2.22.49


Jeannie Blakemore Pegasus Cycling 2.22.53


Jaime Nielsen Te Awamutu Sports Cycling Club 2.22.53


Rebecca Kingsford Te Awamutu Sports Cycling Club 2.22.54


Laura Thompson Cycling Southland 2.22.59


Martina Fellmann Timaru Cycling Club 2.23.00


Sam Bowman PNP 2.23.01


Sarah Boys Timaru Cycling Club 2.23.01


Hannah van Kampen Ramblers Cycling Club Inc 2.23.03


Lauren Ellis Tinwald Cycling Club 2.23.04


Helen Baillie-Strong Counties Manukau Cycling 2.33.35


Alicia Evans Counties Manukau Cycling 2.33.43


Georgina Kydd Cycling Marlborough 2.41.19


Kirsten Hagan PNP 2.41.19


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