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Pro Tour rider Hayden Roulston sprinted his way to the Armstrong Festival of Cycling road race honours in Christchurch today.
Roulston closed out Subway Avanti’s Jo Cooper in the sprint finish to claim the honours in the 80km harbour ride, which doubles as a round of the RaboDirect National Points Series.
Fellow Commonwealth Games teammate Cath Cheatley made it three wins in a row in the women’s race after breaking away over the Port Hills.
Roulston, the HTC Columbia professional, broke away up Gebbies Pass with Cooper and young Christchurch rider Michael Vink, who will ride for the Trek Livestrong development team in USA next year.
Vink (Subway Avanti) was dropped over the top of Evans Pass with the pair remaining clear before Roulston out-kicked Cooper to win in 1:49.51.
Jeremy Yates (Hawkes Bay) broke clear of the peloton to claim third place 250m behind the winner with Glen Chadwick (Pure Black Racing) heading the bunch sprint.
Cheatley, this week voted No 1 road racer in the USA this year, was in a class of her own in the women’s race, clearing out in the hills to win in 2:11.46 with the 1000 strong field coping with challenging winds today.
Wellington-based 20-year-old Emma Crum finished second, edging clear of series leader Serena Sheridan (Hawkes Bay).
With series leader Gordon McCauley missing this round, his lead in the national series has been reduced to 40 points back to Yates with Matthew Gorter third in the men’s competition.
Sheridan continues to lead the women’s national series on 410 with Cheatley closing the gap to 340 and Karen Fulton (Nelson) third on 254.
Results Armstrong Festival of Cycling, Christchurch, 80km:
Elite men: Hayden Roulston (HTC Columbia, Christchurch) 1:49.51, 1; Jo Cooper (Subway Avanti, Christchurch) 1:49.02, 2; Michael Vink (Subway Avanti, Christchurch) 1:50.02, 3; Jeremy Yates (Hawkes Bay) 1:50.18, 4; Glen Chadwick (Pure Black Racing) 1:51.02, 5.
Elite women: Catherine Cheatley (Colavita Baci, Wanganui) 2:11.46, 1; Emma Crum (Auckland) 2.13.38, 2; Serena Sheridan (Hawke’s Bay) 2.13.40, 3.