A broken spoke didn’t slow down SUBWAY® Pro Cycling’s Sam Horgan who dominated the elite race in the Canterbury Cycling Development Trust Charity Ride in North Canterbury yesterday.
Horgan initiated a three person break after 25 kilometres of racing and then dropped his only remaining break away companion Neil Sutherland in the closing stages after realising he had broken a spoke.
“I decided I had to get rid of Neil on the final uphill heading up toward Oxford,” Horgan said. “He was riding really well and I would rather have let him stay with me, but I broke a spoke in my rear wheel through the (Ashley) gorge and wasn't confident about sprinting on it.”
The elite race stayed together through Rangiora until Loburn where Horgan sensed a lull in the pace so attacked up a section of false flat where he was joined by Sutherland and Mike Smart. Smart dropped off the pace after a puncture but Sutherland worked well with Horgan that saw the two riders build a winning lead of one minute 40 seconds through the Ashley Gorge.
After dropping Sutherland Horgan worked hard down German Road and over Summerhill to win in one hour 48 minutes, with Sutherland taking second, one minute and 48 seconds later. Jacob Grieve won a bunch sprint to take third, two minutes behind Sutherland.
Horgan said it was good to get his first win for his SUBWAY® Pro Cycling team for the season. “I've put a lot of effort into my training over the last month and this is a positive sign that my form is good. It gives me a lot of confidence looking towards to the Main Divide this weekend and then a very busy period of racing coming up that includes the Tour of Canterbury, the Oceania Champs in Queenstown, several other races and ultimately the Tour of Korea. I’m feeling confident at getting more good results over the coming weeks.”
The elite female event was also won in impressive fashion by Warmup Pushbikes Cycling team’s Sharlotte Lucas in a time of one hour and 54 minutes, over seven minutes ahead of Marewa Kraak and Emma Ferguson.
The recreational men’s ride was won by talented junior rider Taylor Reed who broke away early to ride much of the race solo to only get caught near the finish, but still had enough in reserve to win a bunch sprint that was marred by a crash, taking line honours in a time of one hour and fifty five minutes just ahead of Nick Innocente-Jones and Craig Lange.
Yvonne McDonald won the recreational female race in one hour and 55 minutes.