Cross-code World Champions, World Tour riders head road cycling field

By Sports Media NZ

A bevy of World Tour riders, some ultra-promising young professionals and two world champions from other sports make for an enthralling men’s field for the Elite Road cycling National Championships in Napier in the New Year.

Mid-South Canterbury’s Jason Christie will defend the title he won in 2016 in downtown Napier with 83 male riders set to compete in the championships from 6 to 8 January.

Five World Tour riders have entered including Sam Bewley (Orica-Bike- Exchange) and George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) who competed at Napier last year, although Bennett is under a cloud with illness.

The World tour riders who are venturing to the Hawkes Bay for the first time include two 2014 Commonwealth Games track gold medallist in Shane Archbold, who enjoyed an outstanding maiden year with Bora Hansgrohe, and Tom Scully, who has earned a place in the Cannondale-Drapac team alongside fellow Kiwi Paddy Bevin, who will bypass the event next month.

There is considerable interest in the appearance of Jack Bauer, who moves to the crack Quick Step-Floors team in 2017, and bursts back into the big time after nearly a year out with injury with a superb stage win in the tour of Britain.

The young guns come in the form of ONE Pro Cycling pro continental team riders James Oram and Dion Smith, the 2016 New Zealand rider of the year and runner-up in this race in January.

Jack Bauer, receiving his medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games road race in 2014. Credit: Guy Swarbrick

There are some prominent track riders who will share their time with pro road contracts in 2017 include Tour of Southland winner Aaron Gate (Aqua Blue Sport), Regan Gough, who take’s the vacant spot left by Gate at AnPost CRC, and Alex Frame (JLT Condor).

Rio Olympic and world champion rower Hamish Bond, who has turned his immediate post-Rio attentions to road cycling, will test himself against the best on both the road and time trial. After impressive riding in the Tour of Southland last month he will be one to watch.

Also on the start line for both events will be UCI Under-23 Mountain Bike World Champion Sam Gaze who is more than adapt on the road.
The Time Trial is based at Church Road Winery are on Friday 6 January; the women’s road race on Saturday 7 January and the men’s road race on Sunday 8 January is based on Marine Parade, in the heart of Napier City.
Elite men: Joshua Aldridge (Blindz Direct-Swift Carbon), Shane  Archbold (Bora – Hansgrohe), Jack Bauer (Quick Step-Floors), George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), Sam Bewley (ORICA-BIKEEXCHANGE), Hamish Bond (Waikato BoP), Pieter Bulling (Cycling Southland), Jason Christie (Mid South Canterbury), Joseph Cooper (Isowhey Sports Swisswellness), Matthew Cryer (Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels), Ben Earnshaw (East Coast North Island), Darcy Ellerm-Norton (St George), Brad Evans (Drapac Pat's Veg), Alex Frame (JLT Condor) , Aaron Gate (Aqua Blue Sport), Callum Gordon (Skoda Racing), Roger Grierson (Auckland), Glenn Haden (West Coast North Island), Andy Hagan (Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels), Matt Harrop (Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels), Alex Heaney (Waikato BoP), Matthew Higgins (Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels), Sam Horgan (Mike Greer Homes), Dylan Kennett (Waikato BoP), Richard Lawson (Canterbury), Nicholas Magill  (Waikato BoP), Scott McDonald (East Coast North Island), Nick Miller (Auckland), Nicolas Monroy (East Coast North Island), Paul Odlin (Canterbury), James Oram (ONE Pro Racing), Josh Page (Bike Box), Vaughn Pretorius (Wellington), Tim Rush (Mike Greer Homes), Tom Scully (Cannondale – Drapac), Dion Smith (ONE Pro Cycling), Morgan Smith (Auckland), Jack Sowry (Skoda Racing), Greg Taylor (Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels), Tristan Thomas (Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels), Michael Torckler (Blindz Direct) , Ryan Wills (Waikato BoP), Mathew Zenovich (Cycling Southland).

Under-23: Joshua Achten (East Coast North Island), Liam Aitcheson (L&M Group Ricoh NZ), Scott Ambrose (Team Novo Nordisk), Ethan Batt (Skoda Racing), Connor Brown (Skoda Racing), Cory Cannings (Auckland), Jack Carruthers (East Coast North Island), Thomas Carter (Waikato BoP), Ryan  Christensen (Waikato BoP), Shamus Christison (East Coast North Island), Chris Denholm (Skoda Racing), James Denholm (West Coast North Island), Sam  Dobbs  (BMC Development team), Matias Fitzwater (Waikato BoP), James Fouche (Mobius Future Racing), Sam Gaze (Waikato BoP), Regan Gough (An Post CRC), William Green (East Coast North Island), Logan Griffin (Auckland), Logan Griffin (Auckland), Carne Groube (Creation Signs L&M Racing), Joshua Haggerty (Cycling Southland), Ollie Jones (Canterbury), Bradley Leitch  (Auckland), Jake Marryatt (Modus Construct), Sam Mobberley (Pegasus Continental Team), Jack Montgomerie (Waikato BoP), Sam Phipps (Waikato BoP), Nick Reddish (Waikato BoP), Liam Sherlock (Wellington), Jacob Sievwright (West Coast North Island), Calvin Standrill (Wellington), Blake Sunde (Auckland), Frank Sutton (Waikato BoP), Blair Treymane (Waikato BoP), Matthew Webb-Smith (Wellington), Alex West (Skoda Racing), Paul Wright (Cycling Otago), Joel Yates (Skoda Racing).

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