Kiwi rider finishes in lead group at cycling world championships

By CyclingNZ High Performance

Waikato professional Hayden McCormick finished in the lead pack of the under-23 men’s race at the UCI Road Cycling Championships in Qatar.

The 166km under-23 race was conducted around laps of a 15km loop of The Pearl Qatar in Doha, with the confined nature of the course and the extreme heat leading to a mass bunch finish comprising 50 riders.

McCormick (Te Awamutu), who rides for the One Pro Cycling pro-continental team, finished strongly in the peloton in 28thplace. Fellow Waikato cyclist Sam Dobbs (Cambridge), who rides for the BMC development team in Europe, finished a few seconds behind.

“Both of the boys did well and were relatively comfortable throughout,” said Cycling New Zealand director sportif Craig Geater. “The teams with the big numbers just dictated and with the race not breaking up, and the pace remaining high on this circuit, there were no opportunities for either Hayden or Sam to slip off the front.”

A break went mid race with nine riders building a 90 second buffer, but they was caught with two laps remaining as the pace ramped up to close to 50kph for the final 30kms.

“Some riders did cramp. It was around 38C deg and quite windy. The guys felt really good but on this enclosed circuit and the high speed, it was just not really possible to fight into a position to slip off the front with the control of the big nations.”

Norway’s Kristiffer Halvorsen won in the sprint from Pascal Ackermann (GER) and Jakub Mareczko (ITA).

Tomorrow sees Mikayla Harvey (Wanaka) and Madeleine Park (Counties Manukau) compete in the junior women’s race over 75kms, while Auckland’s James Fouche and the Manawatu pair of Robert Stannard and Campbell Stewart race over 135km in the junior men.

Results, under-23 men, 166kms: Kristoffer Halvorsen (NOR) 3:40.53, 1; Pascal Ackermann (GER), same time, 2; Jakub Mareczko (ITA) st, 3. Also NZers: Hayden McCormick st, 28; Sam Dobbs at 8s, 67.
Hayden McCormick in action during his win in the under-23 time trial at January’s national championships.

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