Te Awamutu riders Ally Wollaston and Burnie McGrath took out the championship jerseys for the under-19 category on the final day of the Vantage Age Group Road National Championships in Carterton.
The championships attracted around 670 riders from 44 clubs from around the country to the Wairarapa for three days of road cycling racing action.
Under-19 women’s road race winner Wollaston was sure the race would end in a bunch sprint so aimed at keeping herself in a good position in the last 10kms and timing it right at the end.
“There were heaps of attacks in the first half, and then second half was pretty flat, long and windy and the pace kind of eased up a little bit. So it played into the sprinters’ hands at the end which was good for me,” said Wollaston.
She returns to Cambridge for a junior camp tomorrow to prepare for the Junior Track World Championships in August and then will compete in the Calder Stewart Series in the South Island over the coming months.
Fellow Te Awamutu Sports club mate McGrath was at ease with the lack of hills on today’s course and kept himself in the lead bunch throughout.
“The race was pretty full-on throughout, I got myself into an eight-man break about 35km in and after we got caught I decided to go again because I know I can’t sprint, and so battling it out in a bunch sprint wasn’t really an option for me.”
McGrath is hoping to get selected for the team going to the under-23 Nations Cup Tour de l’Abitibi in Canada in July and potentially compete in some Calder Stewart rounds later in the year.
Earlier in the day the under-17 boys race ended in a dramatic mass bunch sprint with Cycling New Plymouth’s Henri Lehrke securing the top spot, with Mitchel Fitzsimons (Cycling Southland) only a hundredth of a second behind him with Oliver Grave (Counties Manukau) rounding up the podium.
The under-23 women’s road race was taken out by Ella Harris (Cycling Otago) followed closely by Elizabeth Stannard (Bike Manawatu) and Holly Edmondston (Timaru Cycling).
Ramblers’ husband and wife team of Kerri-anne and Josh Page took out the senior titles with Rylee McMullen (Counties Manukau) and Kirsty McCallum (Ramblers Cycling) following closely behind in the women while Antony Nalder (Kapiti Cycling) and 2017 winner Alex Heaney (Te Awamutu Sports Cycling) completed the podium in the men.
Connor Brown (Counties Manukau) won the Under-23 grade followed by Jake Marryatt (Pegasus Cycling) and Liam Cappel (Counties Manukau).
Counties Manukau took out the Points Shield again as top club of the 2018 Vantage Age Group Road National Championships with around 100 riders competing throughout the weekend. They amassed 63 points followed by Canterbury Time Trial with 37 and Te Awamutu Sports Cycling 35.