Patrick Bevin and Rushlee Buchanan have won their respective open men’s and women’s races at the 2014 Criterium National Championship held in Takapuna’s CBD on Friday evening.
Bevin was part of a three-strong breakaway with eight minutes to go that also included last year’s winner, Mike Northey and Dion Smith. In a sprint finish, Bevin had enough legs to hold off Northey, who claimed second, and Smith, who claimed third.
Bevin was delighted with his win saying, “I’m over the moon - it’s an amazing feeling to win with such a strong field.”
In the open women’s race, New Zealand endurance track team member Buchanan, edged out team-mate Lauren Ellis, with last year’s champion, Emily Collins finishing third.
One of the strongest ever fields had gathered for the event.
The open men’s category included Olympic Games medallists Marc Ryan and Westley Gough, Commonwealth Games mountain bike medallist Sam Gaze, 2013 UCI Omnium World Champion Aaron Gate, and last year’s winner, Northey.
The open women’s field included last year’s champion Emily Collins, along with Buchanan, Lauren Ellis, Jaime Nielsen, Racquel Sheath and Georgia Williams - all members of the New Zealand track endurance team that recently competed in the UCI Track World Cup in Mexico.
In earlier races, Bradley Leitch took out the all comers race, backing up from his U17 boys victory last year, while Harry Waine prevailed in the U17 boys race and Georgia Danford won the U17 girls race.
Open men – Patrick Bevin, 1; Mike Northey, 2; Dion Smith, 3.
Open women – Rushlee Buchanan, 1; Lauren Ellis, 2; Emily Collins, 3.
All comers – Bradley Leitch, 1; Laurence Kerby, 2; Joshua Kuysten, 3.
U17 boys – Harry Waine, 1; Jacob Kench, 2; Liam Cappel, 3.
U17 girls – Georgia Danford, 1; Shaane Fulton, 2; Rebecca Gumbley, 3.
Bike NZ appreciates and acknowledges the support of the Takapuna Beach Business Association, Devonport-Takapuna Local Board and Southern Trust for helping make the event possible.