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Waikato cyclist Peter Latham, a medallist at the world track championships this year, took out the RaboPlus New Zealand Criterium Championships in Hastings yesterday.
Latham has just returned from a successful stint with the professional Team Bissell based in the USA.
The Te Awamutu rider was prominent in the pack and proved the strongest in the sprint finish, edging out leading junior Patrick Bevin (Taupo) and Auckland’s Mike Northey.
New Zealand road champion Gordon McCauley, who won the Taupo to Napier Classic on Saturday, attacked early to gain a break but his efforts and those of numerous riders who attempted to ride clear, were closed down by the pack.
It proved a great double for the cycling stronghold of Te Awamutu when Rushlee Buchanan, also just home from her season in the US with Team Tibco, claimed the women’s title.
She dominated the race, riding clear and holding off the bunch, coming home ahead of national road series champion Serena Sheridan (Hawkes Bay) and another promising Te Awamutu rider, Emma Petersen.
RaboPlus NZ Criterium National Championships, Hastings:
Open Men: Peter Latham (Te Awamutu) 1, Patrick Bevin (Taupo) 2, Mike Northey (Auckland) 3.
Open Women: Rushlee Buchannan (Te Awamutu) 1, Serena Sheridan (Hawkes Bay) 2, Emma Petersen (Te Awamutu) 3.