Gough in yellow as Black Spoke dominate team time trial

Road & Track

Bolton Equities Black Spoke Pro Cycling made an emphatic start to the new year after winning the opening team time trial on the first stage of the New Zealand Cycle Classic.

Tokyo Olympic track rider, Regan Gough will wear the tour leader’s yellow jersey into the second stage tomorrow, after his Black Spoke team dipped under the 12-minute mark for the 10km course, to finish 22 seconds clear of Couplands Bakeries-Booths Group with the Cycling New Zealand national team third, a further five seconds back.

Gough leads his teammates Logan Currie (who wears the young rider’s white jersey), Mark Stewart, Josh Kench with Couplands Bakeries-Booths Group Keegan Hornblow in 5th. The leading New Zealand national team rider, Laurence Pithie is in 10th overall on 27 seconds, ahead of George Bennett in 11th.

“That was pretty tough and a rude way to start the year,” said Bennett. “It was 10kms full gas and we were a bit off the pace. That’s why we are here though. You don’t get those types of efforts in training. Luckily, we had Laurence and Xander, the two young boys, to carry us a bit.

“With a bit more of that, hopefully by the end of the week we will be in the kind of shape to contend.”

The New Zealand Cycle Classic, which has run for over 35 years, will prove challenging tomorrow with the longest stage of the tour, over 158kms on stage two. There are eight climbs with a circuit around Alfredton before returning for a tough uphill finish in Masterton.

Stage 1 results: Bolton Equities Black Spoke Pro Cycling 11:44.8, 1; Couplands Bakeries at 22s, 2; New Zealand at 27s, 3; St George Continental at 29s, 4; MitoQ-NZ Cycling Project at 32s, 5.

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