“I’ve kind of just narrowed it down to cycling now, so I can focus on that,” responds Prudence Fowler when asked for her preference of choice of sports.
After all, the year 11 Diocesan School for Girls athlete has competed in swimming, triathlon, water polo and rowing to a high level. Last year she was in crews that finished fourth and seventh respectively in Coxed Four and Coxed Eight Maadi Cup A Finals and she was the Dio’s U15 Rower of the Year.
“I have played three or four sports and I like them all, but I for now I’m concentrating on cycling.”
For good reason too.
In March the first year U17 age group competitor won gold in the 2000m individual pursuit at the age group track nationals in Invercargill and less than a fortnight ago she won both the U17 girls time trial and the U17 girls road race at the age group road nationals in the Wairarapa.
Backing up her win last year in the U15 category, Prudence didn’t just win the opening day time 15km trial, she thrashed the rest of the 19-strong U17 girls field – winning by 42 seconds.
“I knew I had a chance to do well, but wasn’t expecting to do as well I did,” she said. “The time trial was seeded and because this was my first time in the U17s I was in the middle of the field, so I crossed the line and then I had to wait for the others to come in.
"It was also really windy so that made it harder.”
Representing her Te Awamutu Sports club, Prudence said the 66km two-lap road race the next day was a tough race.
“There was a breakaway on the first lap, so there was a smaller group of about seven of us. We rode together for the majority of the race and then there was a group sprint and I won,”
Ella Wyllie (representing Counties Manukau) and Lucy Buckeridge (North Harbour Cycling), Henrietta Christie (Leeston Cycling Club), Maadi Douglas (Te Awamutu) and Lucy Humpheson and Olivia Kikstra (both Canterbury Time Trial Assn) finished behind Prudence in the sprint finish.
Prudence said that her recent success on the track helped her find that extra kick at the end of the road race nationals.
“I quit rowing so that I could do track cycling over the summer,” she explains.
“I hadn’t really done any track when I started the season and I went down to the Waikato champs just before Christmas and I won the pursuit there. It was my first track championship event.”
From there, she targeted the National Age Grade track championships in March and backed up her Waikato 2,000m individual pursuit win with gold at the nationals in a winning time of 2.33.395.
She also won gold in the U17 Team Pursuit and gold in the U17 Madison in March.
In winning the pursuit title, Prudence is hoping to follow in the footsteps of recent Commonwealth Games competitors Emma Cumming and Ellese Andrews. Cumming won bronze in the 500m time trial on the Gold Coast, while last year’s St Peter’s School year 13 cyclist Andrews rode 2:18.080 to smash the junior 2,000m IP world record by four seconds.
Plus another famous Auckland Dio old girl. “Sarah Ulmer is an ex-Dio girl, so she is someone to look up to for that reason as well.” Ulmer won gold and set a then world record in the 3000m IP at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Prudence’s coach is Hayden Roulston, a former professional road cyclist who also won silver in the men’s 3000m IP at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
She has been playing sport all her life, and gets it from her family. Her older sister is a former school athlete while her father is an ironman athlete and has competed at Kona in Hawaii a couple of times.
As well as cycling, Prudence is still swimming a couple of times a week for fitness and variety.
What’s coming up next? “The school season is starting to kick off. There’s the North Islands in July, then schools nationals [in Christchurch this year] and then it is straight back into the club stuff again.”
At last year’s school nationals In the Manawatu she didn’t finish the U15 road due to technical problems but she won the U15 points race the following day. She also won the U15 time trial and the U15 Criterium.
Some 670 of the country’s leading cyclists including many of the best secondary school riders competed for their clubs in the Wairarapa over three days this past weekend at the Vantage Age Group Road Cycling Nationals.
The championships saw Time Trials on day one and Road Races on days two and three.
A wrap of leading results involving secondary school riders in the junior races is below.
Mountain biker Phoebe Young (Mount Aspiring College) defended her title and edged out last year’s U17 winner Ally Wollaston (St Peter’s School, Cambridge) to secure the U19 Women’s Time Trial jersey.
The U19 men’s title went to last year’s U17 winner Finn Fisher-Black (Nelson College) who was named earlier this month in the team bound for the Junior Track World Championships in August.
Fisher-Black battled wind throughout but was able to put in a good ride and take out the national title over Jayden Kuijpers (St Peter’s College, Auckland) and Lachlan Dickson (Auckland Grammar School).
“I was holding a bit of energy back ready for the headwind on the way back which I knew was going to be a hard point in the race, when I hit the 1km sign to go it really started to hurt.
“There wasn’t much of a gap in the win, only 4.5sec but I’m pretty happy with the result, I just gave it all the way to the line,” said Fisher-Black.
Laurence Pithie (Christchurch Boys’ High School) continued his success from the recent Age Group Track Nationals to add the U17 boys Time Trial title to his belt after putting in the effort and battling a windy course.
Prudence Fowler (Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland) won the U17 girls race backing up her win last year in the Under15 category, this time getting ahead of Maddi Douglas (Cambridge High School) and Ella Wyllie (Epsom Girls’ Grammar School).
August Elworthy (Takapuna Grammar School) took out the U15 boys win while Amye Kellow (Christchurch) won the U15 girls road race.
Elworthy backed up his time trial win with victory in the U15 boys road race ahead of Jaxson Whyte (Roncalli College) and Jaxson Russell (Cambridge High School). PHOTO right - credit Dave Lintott Photography.
Bee Townsend (Auckland) won the U15 girls in a sprint finish ahead of Ally Gothard (St Mary’s College) and Amye Kellow.
Another sprint finish in the U17 Girls saw Prudence Fowler take the win over Ella Wyllie and Lucy Buckeridge (Takapuna Grammar School).
Ally Wollaston and Burnie McGrath (Hamilton Boys’ High School 2017) won the U19 races.
U19 women’s road race winner Wollaston was sure the race would end in a bunch sprint so aimed at keeping herself in a good position in the last 10kms and timing it right at the end.
“There were heaps of attacks in the first half, and then second half was pretty flat, long and windy and the pace kind of eased up a little bit. So it played into the sprinters’ hands at the end which was good for me” said Wollaston.
The U17 boys race ended in a dramatic mass bunch sprint with Henri Lehrke (Francis Douglas Memorial College) securing the top spot, with Mitchel Fitzsimons (Southland Boys’ High School) only a hundredth of a second behind him with Oliver Grave (Auckland Grammar School finishing third).
Henri Lehrke left with his trophy. Photo by Dave Linott Photography.
PHOTOS: For more photos visit Dave Lintott Photography here
RESULTS: For full results go here
Over 100 schools from throughout the country gathered in Rotorua this week for the NZSS Mountain Bike Championships.
The championships comprised cross-country individual on Monday and team relays on Tuesday, both at Waipa Mountain Bike Park, with the downhill races at Skyline Rotorua which was hosted by Crankworx, the international mountain bike carnival.
Josh Burnett of Southland Boys High took top honours in the under-20 boys race on cross-country day, while local Ruby Ryan of Rotorua Lakes High took control of the under-20 girls race.
In the under-17s Angus Riordan of St Pauls Collegiate Hamilton won for the boys and Isobel Wotton of Trident High School took out the girls race with a 25sec lead.
The under-16 races saw Adam Francis of Palmerston North Boys win by nearly five minutes with Emma Lord of Mt Maunganui College winning it for the girls.
Hot off her win of both cross-country and downhill at the Altherm Mountain Bike National Championships last month, Rebecca Hufflet secured the win in the under-15 girls while local John Paul College rider Cameron Beck won the boys race with a comfortable 4m 30s lead on the field.
The under-14 titles went to Coen Nicol of Taupo-Nui-a-Tia and Seana Gray of Waikato Waldorf while the under-13 golds went to Tauranga Intermediate’s Harry Kneebone and Mokoia Intermediate’s Milla Phipps.
Day two was the Cross-Country team relay where Palmerston North Boys High won the junior (under-16) boys race with Baradene College winning the girls and Marlborough Boys for the composite team.
The senior (under-20) boys relay title was taken out by Macleans College with Trident High School winning the girls and Mt Maunganui College the composite race.
The final day was downhill which was staged amongst the Crankworx action at Skyline Rotorua. Local Ryan Hasting of John Paul College won the Uunder-13 boys in 3:47.68 while former world BMX champion Sacha Earnest of Saint Kentigern won the girls race in 4:21.71.
The under-14 races saw Hamish Powell of Nelson College and Caitlyn Flavel of John Paul College prevail while under-15 titles went to Wakatipu High School’s Max Caulton and Nelson College’s Rebecca Hufflett.
James MacDermid of Hamilton Boys High and Kalani Muirhead from Mt Aspiring College won the under-16 titles while Blake Ross of Cambridge High School and Maia Jowett of Wakatipu High School took out the under-17 grades.
The under-20 races were hotly contended for the boys where Subway National Performance Hub riders filled the podium with Josh Oxenham of Saint Kentigern taking the top spot followed closely by Sam Gale and Nico Fernandez. Brooke Robertson of Waimea College took out the girls.
Cross-Country, Female, 13 years: Milla Phipps (Mokoia Intermediate) 47:01, 1; Sacha Earnest (Saint Kentigern College) at 6s, 2; Greer Hall (Cambridge Middle) at 6:39, 3. 14 years: Seana Gray (Waikato Waldorf) 1:09.19, 1; Florence McNabb (Nelson Intermediate) at 15s, 2; Emily Hannah (Queen Margaret College) at 5:16, 3. 15 years: Rebecca Hufflett (Nelson College) 1:07:13, 1; Mia Cameron (Taupo Nui-a-Tia) at 2:07, 2; Meredith Bowler (Tauhara College) at 4:27, 3. 16 years: Emma Lord (Mt Maunganui College) 1:10:55, 1; Eve Smith (Trident High School) at 33s, 2; Scarlett Buissink (Epsom Girls Grammar) at 2:23, 3. 17 years: Isobel Wotton (Trident High) 1:09:7, 1; Mia Callingham (Mt Maunganui College) at 25s, 2; Caitlin Titheridge (Christchurch Girls) at 1:18, 3. Under-20: Ruby Ryan (Rotorua Lakes) 1:24:38, 1; Poppy Buissink (Epsom Girls) at 7:53, 2; Olivia Baker (Hillcrest) 8:42, 3.Male, Under-13: Harry Kneebone (Tauranga Intermediate) 1:10.43, 1; Hunter Adams (Berkley Normal) at 1:06, 2; Joe Millington (Belmont Intermediate) at 2:35, 3. Under-14: Coen Nicol (Taupo Nui-a-tia College) 1:2:47s, 1; Maui Morrison (Cambridge) at 2:34, 2; Max Preece (St Peter’s College Auckland) at 2:55. Under-15: Cameron Beck (John Paul College) 1:18:47, 1; Sean Onishi (Taupo Nui-a-Tia College) at 4:32, 2; Bailey Fredericksen (Trident) at 6:28, 3. Under-16: Adam Frances (Palmerston North Boys) 1:13:29, 1; Alex Rainbow (Tauhara College) at 4:58, 2; Ben Orr (Palmerston North Boys) at 5:52, 3. Under-17: Angus Riorolan (St Pauls Collegiate Hamilton) 1:16:08, 1; Troy Herdman (Otumoetai College) at 10s, 2; Kaia Dorr (Mt Maunganui College) at 1:07, 3. Under-20: Josh Burnett (Southland Boys) 1:29:06, 1; Maxwell Wickens (Wellington College) at 1s, 2; George Furniss (Macleans College) same time, 3.
Team Relay, Junior, Boys: Palmerston North Boys High 1:06:16, 1; Taupo Nui-a-Tia at 2:45, 2; Whakatane High School at 3:54, 3. Girls: Baradene College 1:28:01, 1; Epsom Girls Grammar at 6:10, 2; Whakatane Intermediate 1 lap, 3. Mixed: Marlborough Boys 1:17:47, 1; Whakatane High at 2:29, 2.
Senior, Boys: Macleans College 1:23:58, 1; Tauranga Boys at 2:47, 2; Auckland Grammar at 4:08m, 3. Girls: Trident 1:49:48, 1; Epsom Girls at 19s, 2; John Paul College 1 lap, 3. Mixed: Mt Maunganui College 1:39:26, 1; Waimea College at 3:03, 2; Macleans College at 7:28, 3.
Downhill, Male, Under-13: Ryan Hastings (John Paul College) 3:47.68, 1; Bill Axon (Reremoana Primary School) at 15s, 2; William Savage (Tauranga Intermediatel) at 42s, 3. Under-14: Hamish Powell (Nelson College) 3:36.75, 1; Jake Earnest (ACG Parnell College) at 6s, 2; Tom Hoare (Nelson College) at 12s, 3. Under-15: Max Caulton (Wakatipu High School) 3:34.59, 1; Lachlan Stevens-McNab (John Paul College) at 2s, 2; Cameron Beck (John Paul College) 6s, 3. Under-16: James MacDermid (Hamilton Boys) 3:14.11, 1; Luke Hayman (Waitaki Boys) at 9s, 2; Ross Marcus (St Pauls Collegiate) at 10s, 3. Under-17: Blake Ross (Cambridge High) 2:58.43, 1; Finn Hawkesby-Browne (Hagley College) at 6s, 2; Finn Parsons (Rotorua Boyd) at 8s, 3. Under-20: Joshua Oxenham (Saint Kentigern College) 3:01.71, 1; Sam Gale (Waimea College) at 8s, 2; Nico Fernandez (Wakitipu High) at 10s, 3.
Female, Under-13: Sacha Earnest (Saint Kentigern) 4:21.71, 1. Under-14: Caitlyn Flavell (John Paul College) 4:18.07, 1. Under-15: Rebecca Hufflet (Nelson College) 4:14.08, 1; Jenna Hastings (John Paul College) at 2s, 2; Mia Cameron (Taupo Nui-a-Tia) 1:34, 3. Under-16: Kalani Muirhead (Mt Aspiring College) 4:23.23, 1; Millie Day (Kapiti College) at 21s, 2. Under-17: Maia Jowett (Wakatipu High) 4:26.31, 1; Olivia Lambert (Waimea College) at 1.23m, 2. Under-20: Brooke Robertson (Waimea College) 9:51.74, 1.
Rising Canterbury star and Christchurch Boys’ High School student Laurence Pithie enjoyed an outstanding few days at the Age Group National Track Cycling Championships in Invercargill over the weekend.
Around 170 riders nationwide flocked to the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome to battle it out for age group and Masters titles over three days.
Pithie was the first rider to break a New Zealand record in the U17 2000m Individual Pursuit. Pithie rode 2:15.674 in qualifying for the final, bettering the time of Tasman’s Finn Fisher-Black.
Pithie followed this up by winning the gold medal during the evening’s final.“It was a pretty tough ride this morning, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to back it up tonight but I managed to do 0.5 sec of my morning time so I’m pretty pleased with that,” said Pithie.
Pithie added two more gold medals to his tally on the second day of the Championships.
Pithie was fastest qualifier in the Under-17 boys sprint and continued his success throughout the elimination races before taking on local Southland rider Mitchell Fitzsimmons in the finals. The Cantabrian proved too strong to win in two straight rides in the best of three final.
The Canterbury rider also managed to win the 7.5km scratch race against a field of 18 riders. Pithie rode a smart race to secure, pacing himself, to win Pithie added another gold to his tally on Sunday when his Canterbury team won the under-17 sprint.
Pithe first featured at a National level when he won the National U15 time trial in 2016.
Results (Age Grade)
Individual Pursuit, 2000m: Under-17: Prudence Fowler (WBOP) 2:33.395, 1; Ella Wyllie (Auckland) 2:35.689, 2; Jeanna Borthwick (Canterbury) 2:34.783, 3; Erin Downie (Canterbury) 2:36.019, 4.
500m Time Trial, Under 15: Sophie de Vries (Auckland) 38.648, 1; Jaz McLeod (Southland) 40.226, 2; Alana Breen (Southland) 40.360, 3.
Individual Pursuit 2000m: Under 17: Laurence Pithie (Canterbury) 2:16.152, 1; Max Williams (ECNI) 2:20.043, 2; Jack Carswell (WBOP) 2:21.621, 3; Reuben Webster (WBOP) 2:22.674, 4.
500m Time Trial, Under 15: Liam Cruickshank (Southland) 41.106, 1; Jack Gillingham (WBOP) 41.130, 2; Jesse Willis (Southland) 41.387, 3.
Under-17 sprint qualifying: Laurence Pithie (Canterbury) 11.280, 1; Mitchel Fitzsimons (Southland) 11.307, 2; Reuben Webster (WBOP) 11.587, 3. Final, Gold Medal: Pithie beat Fitzsimons 2-0. Bronze Medal: Webster be Michael Richmond (WCNI) 2-0.
Scratch Race: Under-17: Laurence Pithie (Canterbury) 1; Max Williams (ECNI) 2, Jack Carswell (WBOP) 3. Under-15: Jaxson Whyte (Mid South Canterbury) 1, Cody Harvey (Southland) 2, Maxson Russell (WBOP) 3.
500m time trial: Under-17: Jenna Borthwick (Canterbury) 37.970, 1; Mya Anderson (WBOP) 38.250, 2; Rhylee Akeroyd (Southland) 38.440. 3. Masters 6: Shona McGrath (Canterbury) 45.567, 1.
Scratch Race: Under-17: Mya Anderson (WBOP) 1, Erin Downie (Canterbury) 2, Rhylee Akeroyd (Southland) 3. Under-15: Bee Townsend (Auckland) 1, Jaz McLeod (Southland) 2, Aimee Sardelich (WBOP) 3.
Under-17 Sprint Qualifying: Jeanna Borthwick (Canterbury) 12.557, 1; Mya Anderson (WBOP) 12.567, 2; Erin Downie (Canterbury) 12.720, 3. Final, Gold: Borthwick beat Anderson 2-0; Bronze: Rhylee Akeroyd (Southland) beat Tyla Green (Southland) 2-0.
Under-17 Points: Rhylee Akeroyd (Southland) 12 points, 1; Erin Downie (Canterbury) 12, 2; Mya Anderson (Waikato BOP) 9, 3.
Under-15 Derby Final: Sophie de Vries (Auckland) 1, Jaz McLeod (Southland) 2, Bee Townsend (Auckland) 3.
Under-17 3000m Team Pursuit Qualifying: Canterbury Red 3:27.259, 1; Waikato BOP 3:28.395, 2; Southland 3:30.041, 3; Composite 3:34.559, 4. Final, Gold: Canterbury Red 3:22.263, 1; Waikato BOP 3:25492, 2. Bronze: Southland 3:27.879, 3; Composite 3:31.830, 4.
Under-17 500m Time Trial: Reuben Webster (WBOP) 34.530, 1; Laurence Pithie (Canterbury) 34.770, 2; Sabastian Lipp (Canterbury) 34.800, 3.
Under-17 Points: Laurence Pithie (Canterbury) 19 points, 1; Jack Carswell (Waikato BOP) 11, 2; Mitchel Fitzsimons (Southland) 6, 3.
Under-15 Derby Final: Jaxson Whyte (Mid South Canterbury) 1, Jonathan Fish (Mid South Canterbury) 2, Cody Harvey (Southland) 3.
Under-17, Team Sprint, Gold medal: Canterbury 1 (Erin Downie, Jenna Borthwick) 37.750, 1; Southland 2 37.760, 2. Bronze: Waikato BOP 37.870, 3; Southland 1 38.290, 4.
Under-17 3000m Team Pursuit, Gold medal: Waikato BOP (Prudence Fowler, Summer Williams, Amy Gregan, Mya Anderson) 3:44.710, 1; Composite 3:50.030, 2; Bronze: Canterbury 3:49.740, 3.
Under-17 Madison: Waikato BOP (Prudence Fowler, Mya Anderson) 40 points, 1; Southland (Rhylee Akeroyd, Jenny Brown) 29, 2; Southland 2 (Tyla Green, Natalie Green) 27, 3.
Under-15 Points: Bee Townsend (Auckland) 11 points, 1; Jade Cameron (Southland) 10, 2; Hayley Paterson (Southland) 4, 3.
Under-17 Team Sprint Gold medal: Canterbury 1 (Laurence Pithie, Sabastian Lipp, Ezra Williams-Gillies) 49.492, 1; Waikato BOP 50.656, 2. Bronze: Southland 1, 50.866, 3; Composite 51.215, 4.
Under-15 Points: Jaxson Whyte (Mid South Canterbury) 14 points, 1; Ronan Shearing (Southland) 13, 2; Jonathan Fish (Mid South Canterbury) 8, 3.
Masters Team Sprint, C1-4, Gold medal: Southland 1 (James Jubb, Brett Roulston, Roger Nicholas) 50.716, 1; Auckland 51.423, 2. Bronze: Otago 51.236, 3; Wellington 51.814, 4.
The 50th addition of the National Secondary Schools Road Cycling Championships were held in Levin and Feilding over the weekend. The 2017 event drew almost 700 cyclists from 83 schools for the three-day competition which included a team time trial, road race and points race.
The Sir Bernard Fergusson trophy for the under-20 Boys’ team time trial was hotly contested this year, with five teams finishing within 30 seconds of each other. Defending champions Palmerston North Boys High School were last to start, and failed to capture Auckland Grammar School who reversed their second placing from last year.
Hamilton Boys’ High were the initial leaders and with only 2km to go were ahead by six seconds. Auckland Grammar finished like the wind though and finished with a new course record.
World champion and record holder Ellesse Andrews won the under-20 girls points race.
The senior Boys category was won by Madi Hartley-Brown from Christchurch Boys’ High School, resisting strong challenges from schoolmate Baily O’Donnell and Aaron Wyllie of Auckland Grammar.
“That was the hardest race of my life, it was full gas the whole way riding into the wind so it was good to get the win” said Hartley-Brown.
Below are the list of all the A group winners from a top weekend of cycling.
Boys Time Trial
Under-20: Auckland Grammar School - 21:13.10
Under-16: Palmerston North Boys - 23:30.61
Year 7&8: Cambridge Middle School - 26:59.20
Girls Time Trial
Under-20: Waikato Diocesan - 24:50.38l
Under-16: Baradene College Junior A - 26:00.37
Year 7&8: Saint Kentigern College - 29:33.36
Boys Road Race
Under-13: Maui Morrison - Cambridge Middle School
Under-14: August Elworthy - Takapuna Grammar School
Under-15: Jack Carswell - St Peter’s Cambridge
Under-16: Laurence Pithie - Christchurch Boys’ High School
Under-17: Kiaan Watts - Hamilton Boys High School
Under-20: Madi Hartley-Brown - Palmerston North Boys High School
Girls Road Race
Under-13: Holly Mcinnes - Palmerston North Intermediate
Under-14: Bee Townsend - Glen Eden Intermediate
Under-15: Lucy Buckeridge - Takapuna Grammar School
Under-16: Henrietta Christie - Lincoln High School
Under-17: Mckenzie Milne Waikato Diocesan School
Under-20: Jenna Merrick, Baradene College
Boys Points Race
Under-13: Maui Morrison - Cambridge Middle School
Under-14: August Elworthy - Takapuna Grammar School
Under-15: Jack Carswell - St Peter’s School, Cambridge
Under-16: Laurence Pithie - Christchurch Boys’ High School
Under-17: Kiaan Watts - Christchurch Boys’ High School
Under-20: Madi Hartley Brown - Palmerston North Boys’ High School
Girls Points Race
Under-13: Ruby Spring - St Kentigern College
Under-14: Bee Townsend - Glen Eden Intermediate
Under-15: Prue Flower - Waikato Diocesan School
Under-16: Maddi Douglas - Cambridge High School
Under-17: Ally Wollaston - St Peter’s School, Cambridge
Under-20: Ellesse Andrews - St Peter’s School, Cambridge
Almost 700 riders from 83 schools around New Zealand are competing in this weekend’s NZSS Road Cycling Championships in the Manawatu.
Hosted by the New Zealand Schools Cycling Association, the racing takes place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday with a Team Time Trial, Road Race and Points Race for boys and girls in five age groups ranging from U14 to U20 years.
The 50th edition of the championships begins on Saturday with the team time trial over 16km with three grades - U20, U16 and Year 7/8 - at Koputaroa School near Levin.
The prestigious Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy is on the line in the Boys Boys U20 time trial. Palmerston North Boys’ High School are the defending champions, having beaten 2015 winners Auckland Grammar School by just 5/100ths of a second last year. St Peter’s School won last year’s U20 Girls time trial.
The road race is on Sunday at Colyton School, east of Feilding, over an 18km-lap course.
The final day on Monday is a points race around the 3km lap circuit at Manfeild race track in Feilding.
The championships will feature a number of top cyclists from around the country, many of whom competed at last year’s junior track championships in Italy and the road world championships in Norway and at the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas in July. This includes recent track individual pursuit world record holder Ellesse Andrews (St Peter’s School) and Oscar Elworthy (Takapuna Grammar School) who rode for New Zealand at the recent road championships in Norway.
Other contenders in the U20 boys include Auckland Grammar's Aaron Wyllie (Auckland Grammar School), Campbell Pithie (Christchurch Boys' High School) and Dylan Simpson (Palmerston North Boys’ High School).
In the U20 girls, Hannah Knighton (Waikato Diocesan School) recently competed at the triathlon world championships, Abigail Morton (Baradene College), won silver in the time trial at the Youth Commonwealth Games, Holly Blakely (St Peter’s School) won gold in the NISS road race in July and Andrews’ teammate at the recent junior world track cycling championships in Italy, Libby Arbuckle (Palmerston North Girls’ High School).
The U17 boys field includes national road champion Finn Fisher-Black (Nelson College), while the U17 girls will be competitive as always, with Isabella Morton (Baradene College) and Ally Wollaston (St Peter’s School) two expected to feature.
Numerous cups and trophies are on the line this weekend.
In overall classification, champion overall boys and girls secondary schools will be crowned based on overall points. The A.J Drake Cup is on the line for the top overall girls school and the H.A Joli Cup for the boys.
The top junior boys and girls Schools (Years 7 and 8) will be competing for the Chris Ginders Cup and the Marie Laycock Cup.
Palmerston North Boys ’High School and Waikato Diocesan won the Best Overall Schools Road Race and Criterium Races at the recent NISS Cycling championships, while Christchurch Boys’ High School comfortably won the Hayden Godfrey Challenge Cup for winning the team points competition in July’s SISS road cycling championships.
Elsewhere, the South Island School Track Championships are being held during the second week of the school holidays on 10 and 11 October in Invercargill.
History of the event
Follow the NZSS Road Cycling Nationals on the official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CyclingNZLSchools/
St Peter’s School, Cambridge, Year 13 cyclist Ellesse Andrews is now a world record holder.
Competing at the 2017 UCI Junior World Track Cycling Championships in Montichiari, Italy, this past weekend, Ellesse won a world title for the second year running.
After winning gold in the Team Sprint (with Emma Cummings) and bronze in the 2km Individual Pursuit in Switzerland in 2016, Ellesse stepped it up another notch this year, smashing the 2km Individual Pursuit world record by four seconds.
Her superb performance in qualifying upset the local Italian facourite in an extremely close ride. Her winning time of 2:18.080 was comfortably inside the previous world record set recently on the same track at the European Championships.
In the final she pulled out more than half a second to beat Italian Letiza Paternoster to win the title, her fourth world championship medal.
New Zealand teammate Nicole Shields from Dunstan High School in Central Otago finished fourth.
Ellesse also competed in four rounds of the Keirin, an event that involves being paced by a motor bike on the velodrome for three laps before it pulls out for an all-out two-lap sprint off to the finish.
In a six-rider final, stacked with sprinters, Ellesse crossed the line in fifth place.
This rounds off a very successful week of racing for Ellesse, who along with team mates Nicole Shields, Katie Smith and Emily Sharman also won silver for New Zealand in the 4km Team Pursuit.
Read our previous interviews with Ellesse Andrews:
Wanaka cyclist Ellesse Andrews setting new standards on the track (March 2015)
Ellesse Andrews riding a wave of success (October 2016)
There’s rarely a dull moment for Hawera High School’s Brooke Fevre, who is busy juggling her two sports of rugby and BMX racing.
One she started doing because of injury, the other carries a high risk of injury.
“I started rugby refereeing in 2016, after I got concussed and also injured my neck and had to stop playing, said Brooke who is year 13 at Hawera High School.
“BMX racing is a really competitive sport and everyone wants that finals spot, so crashes and the potential for injuries are part of it. Luckily I haven’t had any serious injuries, just a few scrapes and crashes that haven’t been too serious.”
She is the only girls rugby referee in the Taranaki region, and hopes to continue with the whistle in to the future.
She is a nationally ranked BMX racer and it has taken her all over the world.
“I have been to world championships, so that has been a great experience being able to represent New Zealand overseas and race my bike.”
“I have made it to the semi-finals. In the World Championships in England in 2012 I crashed in my semi, when they were in Auckland I missed out on the final by one point and then when they were in Adelaide I made it to the quarter-finals and then crashed as well!”
In the National BMX Championships in April Brooke finished eighth out of about 30 riders in the 17-29 female division. The only other current schoolgirl was Jordan Donaldson who goes to Hobsonville Point High School in Auckland.
She trains at home in Hawera and up in New Plymouth on a regular basis. The North Island Championships in Whangarei are coming up later in the year so that is the next big event on the BMX calendar.
BMX racing is an Olympic sport and has grown in popularity around the world. New Zealand’s Sarah Walker won silver at the London Olympics in 2012 and is a former world champion and Brooke has raced against her.
Brooke has a strong family connection in both sports.
““I started BMX racing when I was four. My whole family on mum’s side do it. My uncle is a world champion and my granddad is the President of the Hawera BMX Club, so they have kind of brought me through the sport.
Brooke’s father is Craig Fevre, former Taranaki halfback and current co-coach of Taranaki club team Stratford-Eltham who finished fifth in Taranaki Premier rugby this year.
“I have other rugby connections. My second cousin is Black Ferns halfback Kendra Cocksedge and we are slightly related to the Barrett brothers – so my family love our rugby.
“When I used to play I was a halfback as well, so Kendra used to give me some tips and advice.
“Now I am concentrating on refereeing. I would love to travel the world as a referee and referee at a high level of women’s rugby. I am always working hard to be better and if opportunities pop up then I will take them!”
Included in the 29-strong New Zealand team to contest the UCI World Mountain Biking Championships in Cairns from 5-10 September is a group of secondary school riders in the junior races.
Western Heights High School rider Taylor Johnston has been selected in the New Zealand U19 Men’s cross country team and knows what to expect with the riders he will be up against, having recently returned from several weeks in Europe competing against many of the world’s top junior riders.
“The National Performance Hub team travelled over there and the juniors did four races, which were a great experience to be part of against all the top riders,” Taylor told College Sport Media.
The team started in London, moved on to Austria, then to Germany, and their last race was in Switzerland. “Two of them were junior world series races. “My best placing was 10th and the others I was in the top 30.”
The junior boys cross country team that travelled to Europe was Taylor, Eden Cruise from St Patrick’s College, Wellington, and Jack Wilson from Tauranga Boys’ College. They were joined by junior girls Jess Manchester from Howick College and Liv Bishop from Marlborough Girls' College.
The UCI World Championships in Cairns in September is what Taylor has been building towards. “It’s been one of my big goals, for sure. This season my focus has been on trying to get in the team for the World Championships and so I’m pretty pleased to be going.”
The Year 13 rider will spend the next two months training near home in Rotorua. “I will also look to compete in some races coming up to keep race-fit and help prepare for the World Champs.”
Prior to his recent trip to Europe, Taylor had a successful summer of cross country racing in New Zealand.
He finished second in the U19 New Zealand mountain bike cross country championship at the national championships near Wanaka, behind winner recent teammate in Europe Eden Cruise. “That was a good race, I was riding a lot with Cam Jones [Waimea College, two-day Coast to Coast winner] in that race and I was pretty lucky to get into second in the end.”
Before that Taylor finished sixth in the U19 division in a World Junior Series race, and 10th in an Australian national series race in New South Wales.
He also won the junior title in the two-round Nduro Summer Cup held in Palmerston North and at home in Rotorua.
Since last December, Taylor has been a member of Cycling New Zealand's Mountain Bike National Performance Hub, which is also based in Rotorua. The Hub has regular training camps and provides training programmes and support for the riders involved. Taylor is out there riding most days and also in the gym a few times a week.
As well as growing up and living in Rotorua with the Whakawerawera forest as his stomping ground, Taylor has no shortage of family support.
“My dad got most of my family into it; this is my fourth year riding competitively.” Neither is Taylor the first in his family to ride for New Zealand. “I have got an older brother and older sister who have also been over to race world champs and world cups. My sister in her first campaign about five years ago got a third and a first in a world cup in America.”
He also thanks others for ongoing support including the 4ever Racing team.
Cycling is Taylor’s sole sporting focus. Next year he is looking at university/study but he’s keen to carry on mountain biking and see where it takes him.
Eden Cruise was born to be active. His father competed in triathlons and Cruise was pounding the pavements at a tender age.
Running around and around was never stimulating enough for Cruise who at the age of nine decided to take up Iron Man. When Iron Man proved too arduous mountain biking became an adored and successful substitute.
In his first Karapoti Classic in 2009, Cruise completed the 50km course in three hours and 35 minutes becoming the youngest person to complete New Zealand’s oldest Mountain Bike race. Six years later Cruise won the entire event aged 15, beating the record of Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anton Cooper by a year.
The Upper Hutt based event has a special place in Cruise’s heart and proved to be a catalyst for greater things.
“It’s a unique old school race. There is a steep, rocky, loose part, then the rock garden which is two kilometres of straight rock before the devil’s stair case at Dopers Hill which reaches 531-metres at its highest point. It’s a great race against great competition,” Cruise acclaims.
Since 2011, Cruise has kicked onto win seven consecutive National titles and three Oceania Championships. His most recent success was last weekend at the National Championships in Wanaka where he captured the National Under-19 title, backing up his success from 2016. The course presented and the cool weather presented a fierce challenge.
“It was about eight degrees on race day which was quite cold compared to normal. Our ‘call up’ to the race grid was roughly ten minutes before the starters gun which allowed us to cool down – this is the opposite of what we needed – so the first lap was almost like a warm up lap. From the gun the legs felt heavy and it took me a lap to get a good feeling in my legs, due to the temperature,” Cruise reveals.
The course itself was demanding.
“The course was above altitude so that had an effect on the lungs and added unusual challenges. It started with a typical hill climb which lasted about seven minutes, followed by a technical decent which consisted of steep, loose corners and rock. After this the track had a little pinch climb and zigzagged across a stream before the downhill sprint to the finish, ” Cruise says.
Cruise managed to get the lead on the second lap and foil the challenge of Taylor Johnston from Rotorua.
“Taylor has been a competitor for a few years now and he’s been riding well over the past few years which is cool to see, especially because he is a team mate of mine too. I had to work hard for the win,” Cruise recalls.
There is plenty of hard work in store for Cruise for the remainder of 2016. The 17 year old had lofty ambitions.
“In just under two weeks I am off to the Oceania Champs which will be tough competition against five Aussies in particular. Later in the year I make my first international tour with the New Zealand MTB Hub squad where we will visit numerous places in Europe during May and June. After this I come back in to the country for more training followed by another trip over to the USA and Canada for junior World Series races. My main goal is to get a podium at the World Champs in Cairns, Australia, on September 1st.”
Cruise is sponsored by Torpedo 7 and Trek Bikes.
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