World Champions add allure to national schools cycling championships

By CyclingNZ High Performance

A four-time junior world champion on the track, Campbell Stewart (Palmerston North BHS) will compete at the New Zealand Schools Road Championships in the Manawatu at the weekend. Image credit: Dianne Manson

Three world champions are among more than 700 cyclists from 91 schools who will descend on the Manawatu for the 49th New Zealand Schools Cycling Championships last weekend.

The championships will be staged over three days with the Sir Bernard Fergusson Team Time Trial near Levin on Saturday 24 September, the road race over an 18-km lap course near Feilding on Sunday, with final Points race at the Manfeild Autocourse on Monday.

There will be interest in a number of New Zealand road and track representatives led by the riders who won medals at the recent UCI Junior World Track Cycling Championships in Switzerland.

They comprise the outstanding Campbell Stewart from Palmerston North Boys High School, who has won four gold medals and one silver over two Junior World Championships in 2015 and this year. Other junior track world championship medallists competing at the weekend include Ellesse Andrews (St Peters, Cambridge), who won a gold and a bronze; Connor Brown (St Kentigern, Auckland) with a gold medal in the team pursuit while Emily Shearman (Palmerston North Girls High School), Nicole Shields (Dunstan High School) and Kate Smith (Christchurch Girls High School) won silver medals in the women’s team pursuit.

Also riding are Hugo Jones (Christchurch Boys) and Georgia Darford (St Cuthberts) who competed for New Zealand on the track at the International Track Series against Australia.

Others expected to feature include McKenzie Milne (Waikato Diocesan), Lee Boon (New Plymouth Girls), Finn Fisher-Black (Nelson) and George Jackson (Rongotai College), who all figured prominently competing for New Zealand against Australia’s best at the prestigious Tour of Canberra earlier this year.
Quality is definitely not in short supply, with 19 of the 24 individual winners from last year in the road and points races, returning this year.

Last year Auckland Grammar and Palmerston North Girls won the overall honours in the senior division with Palmerston North Intermediate and Baradene prevailed in the junior competition.

The championships began on Saturday with the Team Time Trial over 16kms with three grades - under 20 years, under 16 and Year 7/8 - at Koputaroa between Levin and Shannon.

The action moved north for the road race on Sunday at Hiwinui near Feilding over a testing 18km lap course. The under-13 to under-15 age-groups compete over one lap; under-16 to under-20 girls over two laps and the under-20 boys over three laps.

The final day was a Points race around the 3km lap circuit at Manfeild Autocourse with action from 9km for under-13 to 39km for the under-20 boys.
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