by St Paul's Collegiate School

Cyclists hit the road at national champs

From the 28th to 30th of September, five riders competed at the Cycling New Zealand Schools National Road Championships in Fielding.

On Saturday, Lachlan Coleman, Thomas Mc Adams, Isaac Reay and Riley Wills competed in the under-20 senior road race. The team rode over a 16km course and did well in difficult conditions to finish 24th of 26 teams.

On Sunday, riders competed in a road race around an 18km course. Jackson Dwyer worked hard to finish 34th of 36 riders in the under-14 race.

Isaac Reay and Riley Wills had two laps of the 18km course to complete in the under-16B road race. Both riders started well, leading the group out. Partway through the first lap, Isaac had to stop because of a leg cramp. Riley stayed in the peloton and used his sprint at the finish to secure a confident win. After his stop, Isaac put in a massive effort to get back into the race and was the first rider in after the peloton in 16th place of the 27 riders, although he would pay the price on Monday.

Thomas McAdams raced in the under-17 grade, also with two laps around the course. In a fast race, he led the group chasing the peloton after the first lap. By the end of the second lap he held his position to contest a sprint finish with three other riders to come 38th of 57 riders.

On Monday they raced multiple laps around the Manfield racetrack. A 3km winding course at high speed.

Isaac and Riley raced in the under-16 points race with multiple sprint laps. Part of a group of 74 riders, the pace was fast with periodic sprints stretching the group out in an attempt to drop riders tired from previous days of racing. Isaac came in 63rd, Riley moved around within the peloton searching for a gap and came in 18th in a sprint finish.

Thomas rode in the under-17 age group in a field of 49 riders. He moved across the pack during racing and broke in the first sprint lap. Leading out early to secure a gap to attempt to take the first point he was chased by the group who managed to pull him back before crossing the line. Recovering, he continued the race working for position and finished amongst the pack in 28th.

All riders should be proud of their efforts and each produced noteworthy finishes in a field that included a current world record holder.