Champions back for Grassroots Trust national road titles at RIDE NZ Cycling Festival

Road & Track
Grassroots Elite Road National Champs Logo BB v2

WorldTour professionals Georgia Williams and George Bennett have confirmed they will defend their titles at the Grassroots Trust National Road Cycling Championship in February.

The outstanding pair will compete in both time trial and road race at the championships, which form part of the popular RIDE NZ Cycling Festival, taking place in Cambridge from 10 to 13 February 2022.

The festival includes a Time Trial on Thursday 10 February for general cycling fans, the Championship Time Trial on Friday 11 February and the popular Gran Fondo public ride on Saturday 12 February with rides over 30km, 87km and 165kms. The championship, which is supported by Grassroots Trust, will be completed with the Elite Road National Championship Road Races on Sunday 13 February.

“Grassroots Trust is a long-term supporter of cycling in New Zealand and our support of this significant event on the cycling calendar is an extension of this support,” said Grassroots Trust executive chairman, Martin Bradley.

The 2022 championships start an exciting year for both Williams and Bennett.

Williams has recently signed on with Team BikeExchange for her sixth year on the Women’s WorldTour, and brings an abundance of strength and experience to the Australian-based squad.

“I’m just as excited for this next season with the team as I was in my first, and I’m motivated to make the next one my best yet. I was happy with the first half of my season this year but then I had some bad luck during the last few months. I am hoping to come back stronger.”

The 28-year-old Aucklander will be looking to the championships as a springboard into the international season after dominating both the time trial and road race in Cambridge this year.

She will be chasing her fourth time trial win in five years, which will bring her level with Melissa Holt as four-time winners, while she will look for her third road race victory to bring her equal with Holt and Cath Cheatley and one behind the recently retired Rushlee Buchanan for most wins.

Bennett is also looking for an exciting 2022 season, his 12th on the WorldTour, as the 31-year-old moves to the high-profile UAE-Team Emirates after seven years with Team Jumbo-Visma.

The Nelson rider enjoyed a breakthrough victory in Cambridge this year with a stunning performance and the noted climber will no doubt be interested in the 2022 course over 144kms which traverses the famed climb of Maungakawa four times.

All races, including the Gran Fondo start and finish at Tom Voyle Park in Cambridge.

Details for the championship see www.eliteroadnationals.nz  and www.ridenz.bike for the Gran Fondo and RIDE NZ Cycling Festival.

Back to news