Dean and Shanks win Elite Road Champs


Spanish based kiwi Julian Dean won the National mens road race in Upper Hutt to take his first national road title on his first attempt. The lead changed often in the strong elite field of 40 riders with Jeremy Vennell and Under 23 rider Matt Sillars taking an early lead in the mens race. Midway through the 156km circuit however, the favourites started to shine with various groups breaking away and regrouping on the challenging circuit, until a clear group of Julian Dean, Tim Gudsell, Pete Latham, Heath Blackgrove and Gordon McCauley broke away. Time trial champion Glen Chadwick, riding for the Ramblers Club in Hastings but wearing his Navigators American pro team kit was always threatening, finishing in fifth.

In the women's race the lead also changed often, with Dale Tye attacking early only to crash leaving a group of eleven riders who went on to dominate, including eventual winner Alison Shanks, but also Rosara Joseph, Catherine Cheatley, Jo Kiesanowski, Sarah Ulmer and Meshi Holt. Shanks broke away during the final 14km lap to claim a 38 second victory while a sprint finish between the remaining lead bunch decided the minor placings, with Te Awamutu riders Holt and Ulmer coming in second and third.

The Under 23 race was won by Matt Haydock, capping off a great championships for the Counties rider who also won the time trial on Thursday.

The races were held in perfect conditions. Mist was evident in the early part of the day at the top of the steep Blue Mountains but burnt off as the morning went on to produce hot, still conditions, perfect for road racing.



Results

Elite Women
1. Alison Shanks (Otago)
2. Meshi Holt (Te Awamutu)
3. Sarah Ulmer (Te Awamutu)


Under 23 Men
1. Matt Haydock (Counties Manukau)
2. Oliver Pearce (Pegasus)
3. Edwin Crossling (Masterton)

Elite Men

1. Julian Dean (Rotorua/Credit Agricole)
2. Heath Blackgrove (Timaru)
3. Gordon McCauley (Counties Manukau)