Track star Shane Archbold proved he could foot it with the best on the road when he won the 5th Parry Field Lawyers Open, Round Three of the Benchmark Homes Elite Cycling Series in Cust yesterday.
Archbold (Reiker Cycles) slipped away from the peloton in a break of 11 riders in the first half of the 140 km race. The break included top contenders under 23 national road champion Michael Vink (Thule) and previous Benchmark Homes stage winners Sam Horgan and Thomas Hubbard (Subway).
The group battled cold, wet conditions in the Canterbury foothills to gain a lead margin of five minutes.
After securing a comfortable lead, the pressure went on in the lead bunch in the last quarter of the race. The tempo increased considerably over the final sharp hill, culling riders and leaving only seven to battle in the sprint.
Archbold’s lethal track sprint was too much for the break, crossing the line to take his fourth win in the Benchmark Homes Cycling tour.
Dylan Kennett (Team Orbea) was second from John Bull Cycles’ James McCoy.
“The course wasn’t hard, but the conditions were tough,” said Archbold.
“It’s great to take my fourth Benchmark Homes Tour win. Heading into the Omnium national champs its nice to know that my form is coming.”
Archbold, currently ranked first in the world in the Omnium, heads into track training camp this week where he will contest the Omnium national championships. At the end of the month he will line up in the PowerNet Tour of Southland.
Fellow BikeNZ Elite Track Cyclist Lauren Ellis (Warmup-Pushbikes) was the first woman home with Cycling Otago’s Corrine Smit the best of the rest only five seconds behind.
The People’s Champion Gordon McCauley (Moa Hunters) narrowly claimed the master’s win from Mark Spessott (Team Cycleworkz.)
The final round of the 2011 Benchmark Homes Cycling Tour will be raced in Oxford on 19th November.
Shane Archbold (Reiker Cycles), 3:15.22, 1; Dylan Kennet (Team Orbea), same time, 2; Sam Horgan (Subway Pro Cycling), same time, 3.