VANTAGE ELITE ROAD CYCLING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS – DAY 2 WRAP
Flying solo proved the winning formula for Canterbury’s Charlotte Spurway while local cyclist Zakk Patterson benefitted from a massive team effort to win respective Under-19 titles on the second day of the Vantage Elite Road National Championships in Cambridge.
It is the first time that the Under-19 grade has been decided at the Vantage Elite National Championships which this year form part of the RIDE cycling festival in Cambridge.
Spurway pushed hard from the start with fellow Christchurch and Velo Project teammate Jenna Borthwick. However she attacked off the front at the 20km mark, riding the remaining 60kms solo to claim her first individual national championship.
Spurway, a product of Cycling New Zealand’s development hub programme, won in 2:29.44, with over seven minutes back to Borthwick with Southland’s Rhylee Akeroyd a further six minutes in arrears.
“I clicked into it on the first climb at about 7kms with my good friend Jenna (Borthwick). We were together until the 20km mark and then I took off,” Spurway said.
“I knew I had to go from the beginning if I was to give myself the opportunity to win. I just dug deep and see what the legs could do.
“I definitely looked forward to when the car came up and I could talk to someone. It was pretty lonely. But the scenery is great, it was an awesome course so I just zoned out. I am stoked.”
The Under-19 male’s race over 115kms with three laps of the testing terrain of French Pass-Te Miro loop proved a different challenge.
After strong early pace, a telling break developed by Fruzio ILABB’s Oliver Watson-Palmer and GD Pringle p/b Spoken Cycles rider Blake Bailey, led to a 3min 30sec advantage by the third lap of the climb.
However the Fruzio ILABB team got to work with Adam Bidwell, Jack Carswell, Zakk Patterson and Lewis Bower turning on the after-burners. They quickly rounded up the leaders to then open an advantage of three minutes before the peloton got to work. The gap reduced to just 30 seconds with 10kms remaining after coming off the Te Miro climb for the final time.
The quartet of Bidwell, Watson-Palmer, Carswell and Patterson rode like a team pursuit, and while at times some valiant work from the likes of Mitchel Fitzsimons (Southland) and Toby Evans (East Coast North Island) saw the margin narrow further, the Fruzio group held them at bay.
Patterson prevailed in the sprint finish from teammates Carswell and Watson-Palmer in 3:23.41.
“I couldn’t believe it. With about 40kms to go we had us Fruzio guys just chopping off. It was an unbelievable team effort,” Patterson said.
“With a lap to go up French Pass we had three and a half minutes to close and I thought no way. Luckily Jack (Carswell) and Adam (Bidwell) came across to do the hard work and the gap came down pretty quickly.
“The four of us lapped it out and gave it everything we had and with 8kms to go I knew we had the gap and could hold it. It was every man for himself within the team once we had that break down the straight.
“I was down after a poor time trial on Friday and I really wanted to prove something today for myself and for the team. I did a couple of recons on the course and thought it was way too hilly for me but somehow the legs came good today.”
The action turns to the elite and under-23 riders on the final day on Sunday with the females riding 130kms with three laps of the French Pass-Te Miro loop from 8am and the males over 174kms with four laps of the same loop from 10.15am, with both groups returning through the start-finish at Tom Voyle Park each lap.
The final hour of each race and presentations will be streamed live on Sky Sport Next platform with links:
Women’s Race: https://youtu.be/0WFlsFdAaQM
Men’s Race: https://youtu.be/iNox-jEH46A
There are also live updates on Cycling New Zealand’s Facebook page.
Results, Vantage Under-19 National Road Race:
Male 115kms: Zakk Patterson (Fruzio ILABB) 3:23.41, 1; Jack Carswell (Fruzio ILABB) same time, 2; Oliver Watson-Palmer (Fruzio ILABB) st, 3.
Female 80kms: Charlotte Spurway (Velo Project) 2:29.44, 1; Jenna Borthwick (Velo Project) at 7m36s, 2; Rhylee Akeroyd (Southland) at 13m33s, 3.