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Oceania elite road racing champion Paul Odlin lead’s the entries for this year’s Around Brunner Cycle event being held tomorrow on the South Island’s West Coast.
Odlin, from the SUBWAY® Pro Cycling Team, has been a very good form this year also winning the New Zealand elite time trial title and finishing second in the Oceania Time Trial behind his team mate Sam Horgan.
In a strong field last year’s elite race winners Sequoia Cooper from the Invercargill based H & J’s Outdoor World team and Leon Hextall (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) are both back to defend their titles.
Dan Barry (Benchmark Homes) is also in good form, winning last weekend’s Tour de Lakes tour and the first round of the Benchmark Homes Elite Racing Series near Blenheim late last month.
The men’s field in particular is stacked with potential winners and racing should be exciting with those not keen to see a bunch sprint finish throwing in attacks and trying to get away on a 130 kilometre course that does not offer any significant hill climbs, but is still long enough to test riders.
The two dominant teams are SUBWAY® Pro Cycling and Benchmark Homes and how they both approach and attempt to control the race could be a key factor.
Other riders expected to feature in the men’s elite race are Jeremy Yates, a former junior world champion who has recently retired from racing full time, SUBWAY® Pro Cycling’s Horgan, Dylan Kennett and Dillion Bennett, Benchmark Homes riders Alex Frame, who finished an impressive fourth in the scratch race at the recent track World Championships in Melbourne, Will Bowman and Hamish Schreurs.
Five time national champion Gordon McCauley has also entered but has been more focused on triathlon and ironman racing in the last year, but should still make his presence felt.
Other woman who should push Cooper in her attempt for back to back wins is Reta Trotman who won her second tough Le Race event late last month, finished fourth in the New Zealand elite road race in January and was the highest ranked Kiwi in the International NZCT Women’s Tour of New Zealand in February.
Other strong contenders are Sharlotte Lucas (Warmup Pushbikes Cycling Team), Josie Giddens and Hayley Mercer and Julia Grant from the Benchmark Homes team