Cycling: Ryan wins in Europe

Cyclist Marc Ryan. Photo / Herald on Sunday
Cyclist Marc Ryan. Photo / Herald on Sunday

New Zealand cyclist Marc Ryan showed he is in good form by winning a criterium in Belgium today.

It was a timely performance for the Timaru rider who is with the BikeNZ endurance track squad racing and training in Belgium as part of preparations for the wider squad for the Commonwealth Games in India in October.

The New Zealand team are to be named this week.

Ryan was one of a number of New Zealand riders to shine in various races throughout Europe and the United States at the weekend.

Another South Canterbury rider, Jason Christie, finished second in another criterium at Geel near Antwerp while Christchurch teenager Ruardiah McLeod won a similar race at nearby Aarsele, racing for his Isorex team in an under-23 race.

Ryan, part of New Zealand's world championship-medal winning pursuit team, won the 126km criterium after he broke clear with one other rider on the final lap.

He had been in an initial group of 20 riders from the 85-strong field that broke away after 45km.

Ryan joined three others who went off the front with 18km remaining and he was able to control the sprint.

Christie was with a group of New Zealanders at Geel including Myron Simpson, Chad Adair and Cameron Karwowski.

Their 102km criterium involved 33 laps of a tight 3.3km circuit, with Christie getting away in an early break of eight riders only 30 minutes into the race.

The lead bunch was reduced to five with Christie just pipped in the final sprint. Karwowski was 14th to lead home the bunch while Simpson was 39th in the peloton but Adair punctured.

Yesterday, McLeod celebrated his 19th birthday with his first international victory, winning the under-23 criterium at Aarsele where he was able to outsprint a group of 12 riders that broke clear.

In Sweden, another Commonwealth Games candidate, Linda Villumsen, finished in the peloton just 10 seconds behind winner Kirsten Wild in a World Cup series race.

Her HTC Columbia team were second in the team time trial behind Cervelo Test Team.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Te Awamutu's Peter Latham remained in contention after two stages of the Elk Grove Tour near Chicago.

He finished in the 31-strong peloton in the second stage today along with fellow New Zealanders in his Bissell team, Jeremy Vennell and Patrick Bevin, in the a 115km circuit race won by Australian Jonathan Cantwell.

Latham is in third place on general classification, 5sec behind the leader Karl Menzies, with Vennell fourth at 6sec.

Tomorrow's final stage is a 115km stage criterium.

- NZPA

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