The Peoples Champion Gordon McCauley has gone out and snatched the New Zealand Elite Road title for a record breaking fifth time bettering cycling legend Jack Swarts haul of four. The recent signing of the Subway-Avanti team noted it was an ominous site on the start line with some of the best jerseys in the sport represented with Julian Dean (Garmin), Tim Gudsell (FDJ) and Track World Champion Greg Henderson debuting the 2009 Columbia strip making it an unusual site for a NZ road race.
McCauley knew there was no way he wanted to enter the closing stages of the Championship with riders such a Dean as "He is a world class, top ten Tour de France finisher, the way to win this title is to take the race away from them", and that he did.
Team Subway Avanti had the plan nailed down and took the race to the class field from the gun, establishing the break early and by 20km the Subway dominated break already had 2:40. With McCauley chasing up after an early puncture with team mate Joe Cooper they were regularly hitting speeds over 65kph and sitting around 50kph as they bridged to the break in less that 10km. Once on the back, the escape of McCauley, Cooper, Allen, Ray, Drower and Odlin rode a fast tempo negating the surges of Dean and the others behind "the two 800m climbs would see our advantage whittled back by 30-45 seconds each time" commented McCauley. But the quick regrouping and organisation of the break ensured their advantage would once again go out in length on the rain soaked and windy circuit.
"Downing a Power Gel a lap was a great way in counting the circuits down" noted Gordy and over the six laps the break took its toll on each of the riders and the general rate of attrition took over.
With 15km to go it was outsider Odlin who surprised the Subway team with his hit up the road, shadowing him was the promising Joe Cooper of Subway, eventually the break came back together and it was looking like an all Subway affair with the team taking out the first four places and James Williamson securing the U23 Championship.
"What a result for the New Zealand registered trade team" commented Subway outfit leader Hayden Godfrey currently represeting NZ at the Beijing World Cup "we are all well impressed"
McCauley now has the pleasure of lining up in the Champions jersey at the Tour of Wellington in two weeks time, "I would like to thank my incredible wife for the support she shows me, I couldn't have pulled this off with out her", "also the support shown by the Auckland fans who made the trip down for the day was unbelieveable, thanks guys"
Elite men: Gordon McCauley (Subway Avanti) 4:19.25, 1; Joseph Cooper (Subway Avanti) same time, 2; Jason Allen (Subway Avanti) same time, 3; Eric Drower (Subway Avanti) same time, 4; Brett Tivers (West Coast North Island) at 47s, 5.
Under23: James Williamson (Subway Avanti) 4:20.13, 1; Michael Torckler (WCNI) at 1 sec, 2; Roman Van Uden (Auckland) same time, 3; Oliver Harding-Sheath (Auckland) same time, 4; George Bennett (Star & Garter Tasman) same time, 5.