If the junior men and women's grades are anything to go by it is fair to assume Hawke's Bay is in good hands to yield elite cyclocross champions in a few years.

Hastings riders Max Williams, who won the junior men's grade (U19s) in a time of 52m 12s, and Aimee Shaw, who clocked 56:36, come to mind after they tamed the 45-minute Eastern Institute of Technology course in their maiden Cyclocross National Championship in Napier on Sunday.

"It's my first national title in anything because I've never won one before," said Williams who is a Ramblers Cycling Club member.

"The course was fine and it was just a good day at a great event," the Year 11 pupil from St John's College said. "It wasn't too windy and I was definitely happy."

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Ryan Gardner, of Wellington, was runner-up in 57m 20s while Williams' club and training mate, Oliver van Kampen, of Hastings, was third, a lap off the pace.

The 15-year-old finds cyclocross an ideal way to amp his build-up for track cycling and road racing races.

Shaw had a good battle with Laura Bickers, of Napier, who came in at 59:03 in the junior women's (U19) event.

"We were passing each other in the race but my main thing is I'm a hill climber," said the Karamu High School Year 11 pupil who turns 16 on Saturday.

Shaw said Bickers was a good sprinter so it was imperative for her to open a healthy enough distance on the hill climbs to negate any pressure in the sprint finish.

Unlike Williams, Shaw took up cyclocross about six months ago "because everyone else was doing it".

"I watched it a few times and it looked like a lot of fun so I gave it try."

She finds it different from cycling because it is more technical.

Cyclocross has enabled the teenager to become more adept in handling different terrain better, such as on grass and stretches of gravel roads.

"It takes a fair while to get used to going on grass because I'm not used to doing that."

Shaw, a road racer, finished fourth in general classification at the Bev May Tour at Morrinsville in Waikato on February 18.

Born in Auckland, she arrived here as a toddler and only took up cycling almost 18 months ago.

"It runs through my family. My brother's good at it and my dad has been basically doing it all his life," she said of Luke Shaw, 17, a Furnware employee, and Anthony Shaw, who works at the Hawke's Bay Hospital in Hastings.

The late bloomer now loves biking. "It keeps me happy, I guess, and it just feels good to bike. You know how people like to listen to music and stuff like that, well bike's the same thing as that for me," she said.

Aimee Shaw (left), of Hastings, bides her time as a steely-faced Laura Bickers, of Napier, puts on the heat. Photo / Paul Taylor
Aimee Shaw (left), of Hastings, bides her time as a steely-faced Laura Bickers, of Napier, puts on the heat. Photo / Paul Taylor

Shaw, who thanks her sponsor, Avanti Plus Hastings, has ambitions to acquire an elite status in cycling which will enable her to join a professional team to tour and compete around the country before putting her feelers out for stints abroad.

She isn't old enough for the elite nationals staged in Napier for the past few years but she competed in the club nationals in Manawatu where she finished 10th in the road race on October 2 last year.

Shaw, who is under Ivar Hopman's tutelage, was 13th in the girls road race and ninth in the girls' points race of the national secondary school's championship.

The Bay hosted its third nationals. The first, in 2011, was staged at the EIT grid and the second was held at Roy's Hill.

Hopman was delighted with how everything panned out on Sunday. He said Carl Paton, of Taradale, had done a superb job as course designer and the weather had contributed to the overall success.

Paton was third in the masters men 2 grade, among the place-getters from the Bay. Hamish Hulena, of Waipukurau. finished ahead of him.

Two-time national champion Gary Hall, of Hastings, was runner-up in the men's elite 60-minute race (1:08.09), finishing behind Sam Gardner (1:07:46) while fellow Rambler Steve
Nicholls was third (1.09.36).

Sammie Maxwell (58:19) won the elite women's race over 45 minutes from Hastings rider Kerri-anne Page by a lap.

Sammie Maxwell, of Taupo, powers her to victory in the elite women's grade of the National Cyclocross Championship in Napier on Sunday. Photo / Paul Taylor
Sammie Maxwell, of Taupo, powers her to victory in the elite women's grade of the National Cyclocross Championship in Napier on Sunday. Photo / Paul Taylor

RESULTS:
Elite men:

1 Sam Gardner 1h 07m 46s, 2 Gary Hall 1:08:09, 3 Steve Nicholls 1:09:36, 4 Calum Chamberlain 1:10:18, 5 Dave Hedley 1:12:11, 6 Mike Thomas -1 lap, 7 Tom Mann -1 lap, 8 Jonny Clapcott -1 lap, 9 Matt Disney -1 lap, 10 Sean Stolp -1 lap, 11 Patrick McDonald -2 laps, 12 Peter Blake -2 laps.

Masters men 1: 1 Alex Fierro 1:07:56, 2 Mark Hussey 1:10.23, 3 Lee Campbell 1:11:16, 4 Ben Knight 1:11:33, 5 Devan Simmonds -1 lap, 6 Ben Wilton -1 lap, 7 Freddy Salgado -1 lap.

Elite women: 1 Sammie Maxwell 58:19, 2 Kerri-anne Page -1 lap, 3 Lisa Hunkin -2 laps.

Junior men: 1 Max Williams 52:12, 2 Ryan Gardner 57:20, 3 Oliver Van Kampen -1 lap.

Junior women: 1 Aimee Shaw 56:36, 2 Laura Bickers 59:03.

Elite women: 1 Sammie Maxwell 58:19, 2 Kerri-anne Page -1 lap, 3 Lisa Hunkin -2 laps.

Junior men: 1 Max Williams 52:12, 2 Ryan Gardner 57:20, 3 Oliver Van Kampen -1 lap.

Junior women: 1 Aimee Shaw 56.36, 2 Laura Bickers 59:03.

Masters men 3: 1 Gary Moller 37:03.

Masters men 2: 1 Rob Kilvington 36:14, 2 Hamish Hulena 36:54, 3 Kent Wilson 37:12, 4 Carl Paton 39:38, 5 Stephen Hulena 40:16, 6 Cliff Fellingham 41:32, 7 Shane Eagar 41:35, 8 Arthur Ferguson -1 lap, 9 Stephen Salkeld -1 lap, 10 Lance Perry -5 laps.

Masters women 1: 1 Kath Kelly 39:48.

Masters women 2: 1 Yvonne Boland 41:30, 2 Karreen Mathers -1 lap.

Bay Ford CX 30 EIT overall: 1 Shaun Demanser 38:40, 2 Jason Bye 42:01, 3 Chris York 42:07, 4 Craig Ward 42:48, 5 Carl Mcparland 43:04, 6 Kim Hedley 44:12, 7 Toby Evans 44:29, 8 Brent Symes 46:15, 9 Elliot Kara -1 lap, 10 Emma Buttle -1 lap, 11 Neil Evans -1 lap, 12 Max Stevens -1 lap, 13 James Wallace -2 laps, 14 Sam Wallace -2 laps, 15 Alistair Nicoll -2 laps, 16 Amy B Nicoll -2 laps.

Ryan Gardner was runner-up in the junior men's grade. Photo / Paul Taylor
Ryan Gardner was runner-up in the junior men's grade. Photo / Paul Taylor