Blink separates top schools in national cycling championship

By Cycling New Zealand

The rivalry between Palmerston North Boys and Auckland Grammar was separated by the blink of the eye on the first day of the Cycling New Zealand national schools road championships in the Manawatu on Saturday.

The 49th national schools championship has drawn 700 cyclists from 91 schools for the three day competition for the Sir Bernard Fergusson trophy with the team time trial, road race and points race.

The host Palmerston North Boys team regained the under-20 boys team time trial honours by just 5/100ths of a second over the 16km course near Levin, blessed with ideal still and fine conditions.

Palmerston North Boys claimed the under-20 boys’ title in 2014 from Auckland Grammar in a new record after three years of dominance by Hamilton Boys. However Auckland Grammar reclaimed the honours over the host school last year before the two schools went to battle again.

Palmerston North Boys set the set the fastest time with the second to last ride in 21:33.19 with Auckland Grammar managing 21:33.24 in the final ride.

Earlier St Peter’s School (Cambridge) defended their under-20 girls’ title for the Summers Cup in emphatic fashion clocking 24:41.17 for the 16km test to finish 38 seconds clear of Palmerston North Girls with Waikato Diocesan third a further 11 seconds back.

Hamilton Boys High defended their title in the under-16 grade in 22:29.74 which was 14 seconds ahead of 2014 champions Takapuna Grammar with Christchurch Boys just one second further back in third.

The under-16 girls title saw a repeat win for Waikato Diocesan in 25:12.38 which was more than 40 seconds ahead of second placed Epsom Girls with Takapuna third.

The emerging talents of Cambridge, the home of Cycling New Zealand, has emerged with Cambridge Middle School winning the boys 7 and 8 years honours in 26:36.20 which was more than a minute ahead of last year’s winners Palmerston North Intermediate.

Meanwhile St Kentigern College took out the girls 7 and 8 years in 29:34.44 which was 24 seconds ahead of Baradene, reclaiming the title they won in 2014.

Results, team time trial, 16kms:
Under-20: Palmerston North Boys 21:33.19, 1; Auckland Grammar 21:33.24, 2; Christchurch Boys 21:51.00, 3; Takapuna Grammar 21:52.50, 4; St Kentigern College 22:04.18, 5.
Under-16: Hamilton Boys 22:29.74, 1; Takapuna Grammar 22:43.11, 2; Christchurch Boys 22:44.85, 3; St Kentigern College 22:57.81, 4; Auckland Grammar 23:01.12, 5.
Year 7&8: Cambridge Middle School 26:36.20, 1; Palmerston North Intermediate 27:48.73, 2; Huntley School (Marton) 28:23.23, 3; Sacred Heart (Auckland) 29:11.45, 4; Koputaroa School (Manawatu) 31:01.05, 5.
Under20: St Peter’s School (Cambridge) 24:41.17, 1; Palmerston North Girls 25:19.07, 2; Waikato Diocesan 25:30.90, 3; Epsom Girls Grammar 25:37.66, 4; Baradene College 25:45.32, 5.
Under 16 Girls: Waikato Diocesan 25:12.28, 1; Epsom Girls Grammar 25:53.31, 2; Takapuna Grammar 26:32.62, 3; St Kentigern 27:04.26, 4; Baradene College 27:06.39, 5.
Year 7&8: St Kentigern College 29:34.44, 1; Baradene College A 30:08.40, 2; Southwell School 30:47.69, 3; Baradene College B 31:07.19, 4; Palmerston North Intermediate 31:08.13, 5.
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