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Erin Downie & Thomas James —

Road Cycling

Our Burnside team had a number of strong riders racing out at Tai Tapu each Wednesday afternoon throughout Terms 2 and 3. The team was made up of Thomas James, Erin Downie, Leon Thomas, Sean Thomas, Sami Donnelly, James Jackson, Leonard Brockerhoff, Eamonn Daly, Theodoros Giannakogiorgos, Jun Gu, Noah James, Stefan Kuruppu and Jonty Sincock. Our team had consistent results in races and our new riders improved immensely throughout the season with a few of our riders taking up some serious training after school. Thomas, Leon and James were aggressive riders in their grades all season and key riders when it came to the team time trials. The South Island Schools Championships at Mike Pero Motorsport Park proved to be a good experience and extra training for Thomas, Erin, Leon and James as well as Robbie Cochrane, a keen cyclist tied up with other sporting commitments this season. Erin made her fifth and final trip up to Blenheim for the Southern Tour and enjoyed a couple of days racing in her last tour ever. She will miss the fun yet hard racing each year up in Blenheim. Sami was only able to ride out as support to schools racing a couple of times this year as she was travelling back and forth between Cambridge and Christchurch many times throughout the season training for the Junior Worlds Track Cycling Championships in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. This also meant she was unable to compete in either South Island Schools Championships or the Southern Tour for her last time. All of the team rode extremely well and we managed to place 5th in the overall teams category for Wednesday afternoon racing which is very impressive considering the smaller number of riders in our team compared to some of the other schools.

Track Cycling

Our Burnside track cycling team is small with just Sami and Erin being the keen trackies of the group. Both of the girls competed in the U19 and Elite Age Group Track National Championships in Cambridge near the end of February and achieved some great results. Sami came away with a silver in the Individual Pursuit, 5th in the points race and omnium, 7th in the scratch race and 4th in both the team pursuit and team sprint riding with Erin. Erin came away with two 4ths in the team sprint and team pursuit, 5th in both the individual pursuit and 500m time trial and 6th in the scratch race. From these nationals Sami was selected to represent New Zealand at the Junior Worlds Track Cycling Championships in Germany in August where she won a silver medal in the team pursuit, just 0.007 of a second away from a gold medal and rainbow jersey, and 16th in the omnium. This is a great result for Sami and we wish her well in her cycling ventures after school. Erin was selected to represent New Zealand at the Oceania Track Championships in Invercargill. Unfortunately she came down with sickness just days before racing started but she still continued with the racing and came away with some good experience. Whilst down in Invercargill Erin also competed in her last South Island and National Schools Track Cycling Championships which she will miss competing in. The girls have achieved some great results on the track this season and will miss riding in the Burnside colours as they move into the big wide world next year.

Mountain Biking

Our Burnside mountain biking team that raced on Wednesday afternoons at Halswell Quarry was made up of Will Brunton, Tim Currey, Erin Downie, Otis Earl, Ocean Faloon-Cavander, Taylor Farrell, Thomas James, Randiv Kulathunga, Sohan Kuruppu, Lewis McLauchlan, Liam McMorran, Jonty Sincock and James Yin. Robbie Cochrane and Cam Scott who could not race on Wednesday afternoons both raced the South Island MTB Championships along with Tim. Robbie placed 7th in Cross Country and 5th in downhill and Tim and Cam both got some good racing experience. James and Cam also raced the National Schools MTB Championships picking up some valuable experience at a higher level which they will be able to apply in their future years riding for Burnside. Thomas and Ocean were standout riders on Wednesday afternoons, really taking it to the other schools with not only their fitness but skills on the tracks. Our Burnside team had a successful season racing at Halswell Quarry and we look forward to racing again next year.

It is also important to recognise Mr McBrearty, the teacher in charge that supported every one of these cycling events. On behalf of the Burnside cycling teams we want to thank Mr McBrearty for his organisation and willingness to help us out, it does not go unnoticed. Sami and myself (Erin) would like to add an extra thanks for the ongoing support you give us in and outside of schools cycling. We will miss being a part of the Burnside cycling teams.