Southland has confirmed its place as New Zealand’s track cycling capital winning the points shield in the RaboPlus National Age Group Cycling Championships in Invercargill last night.
Southland convincingly won the points shield by a whopping 50 point margin over Auckland, which delighted local team manager Sier Vermunt, Southland.
“Auckland and Canterbury can eat our dust! It’s awesome that not only can we field such a large team, but that the riders can all pull out great performances.”
Southland has the advantage of having the superb ILT Velodrome, New Zealand’s only indoor velodrome, as their training ground.
One of the stars of the Southland squad was under 15 girls rider Sophie McMurdowho won every event that she entered. A girl of few words, she is quick to identify Sarah Ulmer and Alison Shanks as her inspiration.
Following in the footsteps of Tom Scully and Eddie Dawkins, two Southland riders making their mark on the world of track cycling, are numerous talented young Southland males including Michal Culling, Pieter Bulling and Tom Beadle. Culling showed his class when he established a lead of over three bike lengths in the last lap of the under 15 Boys 2000m Scratch Race to take the win.
It was not just the young Southland boys who shone, but the masters as well. The combination of Jerard Stock, Derek Tan, Michael While and Garth Cooper proved that they still have what it takes in the 4000m Team Pursuit, wrestling the gold from the Otago team.
Auckland had Stephanie McKenzie and Henrietta Mitchell to thank as they dominated the under 19 Team Sprint. In their qualifying ride, they broke the record that they had set at the Oceania Championships last year, before lowering the record again in the final.