Local cyclists made the most of the opportunity to race on home turf, collecting titles and trophies galore at the North Island and South Island School Road Championships and the North Island School Track Championships.
Over 230 riders took part in the South Island Road event, organised by Cycling Canterbury Schools at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch, competing in individual time trial, team time trial and road race events. The North Island Road event, organised by Red Events at Lake Karapiro, attracted over 600 riders contesting a team time trial, road race and criterium. Following on from that, the North Island Track event, presented by the Avanti Shop and organised by Cycling New Zealand, was held at Cambridge’s Avantidrome, attracting entries from Kaitaia to Wellington to contest individual and team titles.
Almost 300 intermediate and secondary schools affiliate to the Cycling New Zealand Schools programme and in 2018, over 3,570 of students took part in 11 events across cycling codes.
South Island Road
Christchurch Boys High School enjoyed a successful outing, taking the Hayden Godfrey Challenge Cup for top school. Although collecting just one individual title, courtesy of Josh Rivett in the under-20 individual time trial, it was in the team events where they excelled, besting Timaru Boys High for the under-20 title and Cobham Intermediate in the under-14 race. They placed second behind James Hargest in the under-16 event.
There were some outstanding individual performances throughout the weekend, including those from Subway Upper South Performance Hub riders, Henrietta Christie (Lincoln High), Jenna Borthwick (St Margarets) and Amelia Sykes (Avonside Girls) who won both the road race and individual time trial in their age grade.
Christie’s victories were decided in vastly differing circumstances, with a convincing 1min 42 second win in the road race, and a split-second win over SIT Southern Hub’s Emily Paterson (James Hargest) in the time trial.
This double individual success was also achieved by Mountainview High’s James Corry, Roncalli’s Jaxson Whyte, Rolleston College’s Nick Rush, Bluestone School’s Noah Hollamby and the under-13 pairing of Olli Aitken (Medbury) and Alice Barnes (Cust Area School). This is the second year in a row that Whyte has claimed the double.
North Island Road
Despite not securing any individual or team titles, Auckland’s Baradene College stormed away with the ‘Top Girls School’ award, amassing 207 points across road race, criterium and team events. It was a much tighter affair in the boys competition, with Cambridge High School edging St Peters Cambridge by a handful of points.
Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Performance Hub riders Ella Wyllie (Epsom Girls) and Prudence Fowler (Auckland Diocesan) were able to repeat their 2018 feats, taking the under-20 and under-17 girls titles from competitive fields in both races.
Fowler joined Ally Gothard (Epsom Girls), Blake Bailey (Cambridge High), Maui Morrison (Cambridge High), Ruby Spring (St Kentigerns), Mackenzie Barnett (Cambridge High), Caoillinn Gray (Cambridge Middle School) and Joshua Rowe (Cambridge Middle School) in collecting both road race and criterium titles for their age group.
In the team time trial, Auckland Grammar headed home Palmerston North Boys High School in the under-20 boys race, while Epsom Girls powered home 1m 16s ahead of second placed Baradene in the girls edition.
It was the same story in the under-16 girls with Epsom too strong for Baradene, while Cambridge High School got the better of Takapuna Grammar in the boys race.
In the intermediate racing, Palmerston North Intermediate took home the girls title and Cambridge Middle School the boys.
North Island Track
After a busy weekend at North Island Roads, 165 riders descended on the Avantidrome to compete for individual and team titles at the North Island Track Championships.
Local schools St Peters Cambridge and Cambridge High School were again locked in a ding-dong battle for the coveted ‘Top School’ awards, with Cambridge High emerging victorious in both boys and girls racing.
Deputy Principal John McDonnell said he was extremely proud of the schools results across both the road and track events.
“Cambridge High’s cycling programme is built first and foremost around participation, but we’re now seeing it produce riders with a high level of skill and ability. The competition side of the sport is very rewarding for our students and has over the past years encouraged more and more to participate.
“Our coaches are all volunteers who have a passion for the sport and for our youth, and we are so lucky to have such a supportive parent community. We get such a pleasure from seeing our youth participating in such a vibrant and healthy sport.”
The Waipa Home of Champions Outstanding Rider trophies went to Grassroots Trust Waikato BoP Hub riders. Mya Anderson (Cambridge High), took home maximum points in the under-20 girls individual events and a win in the team sprint, while Hamish Coltman (St Peters Cambridge) collected wins in the under-17 boys keirin, points race and team pursuit.
Other stars to emerge included Cambridge High’s Gray sisters, Seana and Caoillinn who took out the under-15 and under-13 titles, and Jaxson Russell who took out the under-15 boys individual, team pursuit and team sprint titles.
Full results are available to view on the Cycling New Zealand Schools website.
The South Island Track Championships will be held in October in conjunction with the National Schools Track Championships at SIT Zero Fees Velodrome in Invercargill.