The curtain came down on Napier’s tenure as hosts of the Vantage Road National Championships in epic fashion with a road race to remember. James Fouche was sublime in the manner in which he attacked to secure the U23 title and the national champion’s jersey outright. Check out our highlights from the final day’s racing.
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A talent-filled breakaway would define the Elite & U23 men’s road race, with EF Education First’s Tom Scully spearheading the move in a group containing former national champion Joseph Cooper, former U23 champion Hamish Schreurs and defending U23 road race champion James Fouche (fresh off of winning the U23 time trial on the Friday). Numbers in a move can play to a break’s advantage or be their achilles heel, but the former was certainly true of this move as the group worked magnificently together throughout the race; while behind them the fragmenting peloton struggled to seriously dent the break’s advantage.
Even though time gaps were stable throughout most of the race, the firepower in the chase group was such that there was every possibility that the race would come back together . . . . and then Fouche attacked. The 20 year old’s move put paid to any hope that the chasers may have had as Fouche simply powered away; getting into TT mode for the final two and a half laps to take the win and with it the white jersey of this year’s New Zealand national road race champion.