They accept they are behind the eight ball when they put their wheels on the starting line but in no way has the Massey High cycling team felt intimidated this year.
Determination and plenty of training along with the support of their coaches and parents has been rewarded with some encouraging results headed by Renee Wootton's winning the under-20 division at the national individual championships in Auckland, and later at the national championships in the Manawatu where she won the road race and the points race.
At the school's awards function, the cycling team won the Top Sports Team award and their coach and manager picked those trophies to break the usual domination by the rugby and netball teams.
Wootton dominated the senior girls at the national individual championships winning the time trial and criterium and finishing second in the hillclimb.
In the 70-strong under-20 boys' field at the same championships, John Newman-Watt rode a superb time trial for third place and finished in the top 10 overall.
In the under-17 girls, Lydia Rippon finished second in the hillclimb and third overall.
Quinn Meenhorst won the under-15 boys' criterium.
In the Manawatu, Massey had five riders on the podium including two-time victor Wootton.
Rippon was second in the under-17 road race, while bronze medals were won by Newman-Watt in the under-20 road race and the senior boys in the team time trial.
The senior boys reinforced their position as the top Auckland school in finishing behind cycling powerhouses Hamilton BHS and Christchurch BHS.
Overall it was a great season for the 23 squad members.
Coach John Rippon, who said he became the coach three years ago "by default", said despite going head-to-head with schools with much bigger budgets, the Massey senior boys surprised many by winning the last three rounds of the winter time trial series and recording the season's fastest time.
"Most of us also belong to the North Harbour club so we do spend a lot of time training on the roads north of the city," said Rippon.
"Unfortunately we did not have a senior girls team this year but Renee proved just how good she is," he said.
"I feel we have punched above our weight this year and the good thing is that we are only losing one of our senior boys team for next year."
Rippon pointed to a three-day camp earlier in the year as key in developing a team culture.
That they are up against teams with bikes that "you wouldn't get any change out of $10,000" for, Massey can hold their heads high and look for even better next year.
Auckland Premier two-day championship, round four
Sacred Heart 81 and 296/7 dec (Glynn Phillips 188no) lost to WBHS 196 and 86/4 (Mitchell Aitkens 50no; Pierce Fletcher 3-18) on 1st innings.
MAGS 240 drew with AGS 49/0 - no play on second day.
St Kentigern 282 beat Rosmini 46 (Lachlan Walker 5-13, Jeremy Myers 4-25) and 103 (Myers 5-27) outright by an innings and 131 runs.
Points (with one round to play): MAGS 15, AGS 11, St Kentigern 8, WBHS, Sacred Heart, Rosmini 2.
Two-Day plate, round four
KBHS 153 and 149 (Jack Coombes 57; Chris Dunn 3/23) beat Macleans 125 (Adam Bard 32; Navan Lombard 4-28) and104 (Narula 33; Jared Challis 5-25) outright by 93 runs.
St Peters 54 and 128 (Ullrich Boshoff 5-22) lost to Rangitoto 187/9 dec by an innings and five runs.
Kings 257/9 dec drew with Avondale 13/1 -- no play on second day.
Points: Rangitoto 10, Kings 9, KBHS 6, Avondale 5, St Peters 4, Macleans 2.
Premier championship, final round
Baradene 169/1 St Cuthbert's 121/5; MAGS default to TGS.
Senior B, Kristin default to Lynfield; Diocesan 1 152/5 Sancta Maria 45/7.
Intermediate/junior: EGGS default to Rutherford; Avondale 69/7 St Cuthberts 57/6.
Ki O Rahi
TKMO Nga Tapuwae bt Birkenhead 30-6, bt Hoani Waititi 22-11, bt TKKM o Te Raki Paewhenua 30-4, bt Tiriwa Massey 15-8, bt Hato Petera 23-1, TKKM o Mangere 27-11.
Birkenhead lost to TKMO Nga Tapuwae 6-30, lost to Hoani Waititi 6-42, lost to TKKM o Te Raki Paewhenua 19-23, lost to Tiriwa Massey 5-38, lost to Hato Petra 6-25, lost to TKKM o Mangere 13-23.
Hoani Waititi lost to TKMO Nga Tapuwae 11-22, beat Birkenhead 42-6, beat TKKM o Te Raki Paewhenua 31-7, beat Tiriwa Massey 13-10, beat Hato Petera 42-12, beat TKKM o Mangere 19-15.
TKKM o Te Raki Paewhenua lost to TKMO Nga Tapuwae 4-30, beat Birkenhead 23-19, lost to Hoani Waititi 7-31, lost to Tiriwa Massey 4-22, lost to Hato Petera 4-17, lost to TKKM o Mangere 16-18.
Tiriwa Massey lost to TKMO Nga Tapuwae 8-15, beat Birkenhead 38-5, lost to Hoani Waititi 10-13, beat TKKM o Te Raki Paewhenua 22-4, beat Hato Petera 18-9, beat TKKM o Mangere 21-12.
Hato Petera lost to TKMO Nga Tapuwae 1-23, beat Birkenhead 25-6, lost to Hoani Waititi 12-42, beat TKKM o Te Raki Paewhenua 17-4, lost to Tiriwa Massey 9-18, lost to TKKM o Mangere 8-13.
TKKM o Mangere lost to TKMO Nga Tapuwae 11-27, beat Birkenhead 23-13, lost to Hoani Waititi 15-19, beat TKKM o Te Raki Paewhenua 18-16, lost to Tiriwa Massey 12-21, beat Hato Petera 13-3.
Final points/placings: Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae 18, 1; Te Wharekura o Hoani Waititi 15 2; Tiriwa Massey HS 12 3; Te Wharekura o Mangere 9 4; Hato Petera 6 5; Te Wharekura o Te Raki Paewhenua 3 6; Birkenhead College 0 7.
Junior Greater Auckland
Girls, Central: Lynfield 3 EGGS 2; MAGS 13 One Tree Hill 2; Marist 5 Onehunga 4. MAGS 19 EGGS 0; Lynfield 11 Marist 2; One Tree Hill 9 Selwyn 5.
Southern: Pakuranga 10 Aorere 9. Pakuranga 10 Southern Cross 3; Aorere 8 McAuley 3.
Boys, Central/Western: AGS 14 Onehunga 3; Avondale default to Waitakere; Massey 11 Selwyn 0; MAGS 6 Green Bay 0. Onehunga 6 Selwyn 0; Massey 17 Avondale 0; Waitakere default to Green Bay; MAGS 2 AGS 0.
Southern: Aorere 9 Wesley 5; Alfriston 10 Southern Cross 9. Aorere 9 Alfriston 3; Southern Cross 9 Wesley 5.
Girls: Orewa 2 McAuley 0; Orewa 2 Mangere 1; Mangere 2 McAuley 0. Rangitoto 2 Sir Edmund Hillary 1; Rangitoto 2 Long Bay 0; Sir Edmund Hillary 2 Long Bay 0. Manurewa 2 Otahuhu 0; Otahuhu 2 Westlake Girls 1.
Boys: WBHS 2 Manurewa 1; WBHS 2 Southern Cross 0; Manurewa 2 Southern Cross 0. Sir Edmund Hillary 2 De La Salle 0; Orewa 2 De La Salle 0; Orewa 2 Sir Edmund Hillary 0. One Tree Hill 2 KBHS 0; Rangitoto 2 One Tree Hill 0; Rangitoto 2 KBHS 0.
Junior regatta, Orakei Basin
Division one W6, championship, Nga Tapuwae 1, AGGS A 2, Kaipara 1 3.
Division one W6, plate, James Cook 2 1, EGGS Gold 2, Nga o Puna Waiorea 3.
Division two W6, championship, Manurewa Green 1, James Cook 5 2, Manurewa Blue 3.
Division two, plate, EGGS Blue 1, AGGS C 2, McAuley 3 3.
Division one W6 championship, KBHS 1, James Cook 1 2, Manurewa 1 3.
Division one W6, plate, Southern Cross 1, De La Salle 1 2, Nga Tapuwae 3.
Division two W6, championship, De La Salle 5 2, Massey 2, De La Salle 4 3.
Division two W6, plate, James Cook 2 1, Waiheke 2, De La Salle 6 3.
Division one W6, championship, Kaipara 1 1, James Cook 1 2, KBHS/KGHS 3.
Division one W6, plate, Rutherford/EGGS 1, De La Salle/AGGS H 2, De La sale/McAuley M 3.
Division two W6, championship, Manurewa 7 1, De La Salle/AGGS P 2, Manurewa 2 3.
Division two W6, plate, Nga o Puna Waiorea 1, Waiheke 2, De La Salle/McAuley 2 3.
Division one W12, championship, Kaipara 1 1, James Cook 1 2, KBHS/KGHS 3.
Division one W12, bowl, De La Salle/McAuley 1, James Cook 2 2, De La Salle/AGGS B 3.
Division one W12, plate, De La Salle/AGGS A 1, Nga Tapuwae 2, Kaipara 2 3.
Division two W12, championship, Manurewa A 1, EGGS/Rutherford 2, Manurewa B 3.
Division two W12, plate, De La Salle/AGGS D 1, Southern Cross 2, Waiheke 3.
Boys A grade, pool A: AGS A 8 WBHS A 2; St Peter's A 8 MAGS A 7. MAGS A 10 Green Bay 9; AGS A 19 St Peters A 5. Pool B: Sacred Heart 6 Rangitoto 4; Kings 9 S Kentigern 3. Rangitoto 7 Kristin 1; Sacred Heart 8 Kings 4.
Boys B grade, pool C: AGS B 12 MAGS B 5; Parnell 12 St Pete's B 4. Pool D: WBHS B 9 Takapuna 4. Pool E: Avondale 9 Liston 7; Rutherford default to Western Springs. Pool F: Sacred Heart B 15 St Kentigern B 0; Glendowie 13 Macleans 2.
Boys C grade, pool G: Kings 14 Massey 2; Sacred Heart 6 Lynfield 2; AGS C 7 MRGS 4.
Girls A grade: St Cuthberts 7 St Marys 2; St Kentigern 6 Marist 2; EGGS 6 Baradene 4. St Marys 13 Marist 1; St Cuthberts 12 WGHS 8; Glendowie default to Diocesan; Baradene 14 St Kentigern 2.
Girls B grade: St Marys 7 EGGS 2; Green Bay 7 Western Springs 2. Long Bay 5 MAGS 2; St Marys 7 Green Bay 3.