Former Olympians, Commonwealth Games representatives, and a Dulux 6-day race winner from the 1960s will join a smattering of current elite riders in a record field of entries at the 2014 New Zealand Club Road Cycling Championships in Cambridge from May 1-4.
Event organiser Stephen Cox was delighted to attract a combined total of 953 entries for the road race and time trial events, with 633 individual cyclists registered from 34 different clubs or centres set to compete for national honours around circuits in Leamington and Roto-O-Rangi, on the outskirts of Cambridge.
Among the notable entries across various classes are:
• Elite national time trial women's champion and 2012 Olympian Jaime Nielsen, who will be racing on home turf;
• Lauren Ellis, a member of the New Zealand Team Pursuit squad - along with Nielsen - which placed 5th at the London Olympics;
• Sam Horgan, 2013 Benchmark Homes Elite Series winner, who is fresh from a tough campaign in Australia riding for the UCI Continental team;
• Hamilton's Dean Peterken, a 1992 Olympic team member and winner of the NZ men's elite road race that year;
• Greg Fraine, who won Silver in the Edinburgh 1986 Commonwealth Games but these days is now better known as Tri NZ national coach and riding for the Tasman Wheelers;
• Stewart Imrie, member of the 1990 Commonwealth Games team (Counties Manukau);
• Neil Robinson, Dulux 6-day NZ Road Race winner in 1964, who will compete in the Masters 8 division as a 72-year-old, where he will be up against Sarah Ulmer's father, Gary Ulmer;
• Michelle Gammie-Catterick, the inaugural women's winner at Ironman New Zealand, in 1985;
• Graeme Hawkins, who represented New Zealand in the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games - but as a wrestler;
• World Masters medallist Jim McMurray from the Forestland club, who will be defending his Masters 4 (50-54 years) title;
The event has also attracted 165 cyclists from the Waikato-Bay of Plenty region, with the strong Te Awamutu Sports Cycling Club accounting for 52 of those, and Hamilton City Cycling Club a further 43.
But Pegasus Cycling from Christchurch is bringing a 40-strong contingent of riders north and will be well placed to retain the club shield they won in Queenstown last year.
This is the first time the championships have been hosted by a private entity rather than a club or centre, and Cox - himself a former Commonwealth Games road cycling medallist (Brisbane 1982) - was pleased with the response.
"These are very good entry numbers, but in line with what we expected given the location," he said. "There is a big cycling population north of Taupo, Cambridge makes a terrific venue, and we also have a large number travelling up from the South Island.
"Most of the masters events will be very closely contested."
Cox's company, Dynamo Events, has secured a four-year contract to run the championships, with the racing tentatively scheduled for Hawke's Bay in 2015, Central Otago the following year, then back to Cambridge in 2017.
"A lot of clubs now simply don't have enough skilled people to host such an event with their volunteers, with all the work that is required beforehand with organisation, preparation and traffic management plans."
Road races will start and finish at Leamington School on Lamb St with riders traversing what is colloquially known as the 20.3km Kairangi circuit down Roto-O-Rangi Rd, onto Kairangi Rd, Robinson Rd, and Norwegian Rd. (See attached graphic).
Meanwhile a 40km time trial course runs out along Roto-O-Rangi Rd and Parklands Rd, with the 25km and 15km courses for lower grades shorter versions of this.
National Club Road Cycling Championships, Cambridge
Schedule of Events
Thursday 1 May 2014 8.30am
15.76km Time Trial (U15B / U15G / U17B / U17G / U19W / MW6 / MW7 / MW8 / MM6 / MM7 / MM8)
24.78km Time Trial (All other categories)
38.29km Time Trial (U23M / SM)
Friday 2 May 2014
8:45am Hand Cyclist 1 Lap
8:50am U15B 35km 3 Laps (9.5km Circuit)
8:55am U15G 35km 3 Laps (9.5km Circuit)
10:30am SW 110km 5 Laps
10:35am MW3/4 50km 2 Laps
10:40am MW/5/6/7/ 50km 2 Laps
1:12pm MM6 70km 3 Laps
1:15pm MW1/2 70km 3 Laps
1:25pm U17G 50km 2 Laps
Saturday 3 May 2014
9:00am MM1 110km 5 Laps
9:10am MM2 110km 5 Laps
9:12am MM5 70km 5 Laps
9:15am MM7 50km 2 Laps
1:00pm MM3 90km 4 Laps
1:05pm MM4 90km 4 Laps
1:10pm U17B 70km 3 Laps
1:15pm MM8 50km 2 Laps
Sunday 4 May 2014
9:00am SM/U23M 150km 7 Laps
9:09am U19M 110km 5 Laps
9:10am U19W 70km 3 Laps