Sam Horgan (SUBWAY® Pro Cycling) won the A grade Silvester Motor Company Tour of Canterbury as part of his final preparation for this week’s Oceania Road Championships being held in Queenstown.
Horgan says he is in good form and feels he is peaking at the right time. Horgan broke the Canterbury Time Trial Association 16 kilometre record last week and won the weekend’s tour on the back of a 25 second win in the short eight kilometre stage three time trial.
“I’m really happy with my form after tapering off my training workload,” he said. “I’m really keen on a good time trial result in Queenstown at the Oceania Champs; that has been a target of mine all summer.”
Horgan was never far from the front of the race at the weekend's tour. He was part of a four person break away on stage two where he won the sprint to take the yellow leaders jersey from Hayden McCormick (Kiwivelo). He increased his tour lead after the stage three time trial and finished comfortably in the lead bunch on the final stage to secure his first Tour of Canterbury win.
Will Bowman (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) continued his strong return to racing after serious injury to finish second on general classification, 22 seconds behind Horgan. Richard Lawson (Scotty Browns Cycling) continued his climb up local senior rankings to claim third after consistently strong racing all weekend.
Horgan also dominated the King of the Mountain competition taking a clear win in the competition from Tom Hubbard. Dan Barry (Bike NZ-Pure Black Racing) won the green jersey sprint competition.
Kiwi RadioShack Nissan Trek professional rider George Bennett from Nelson used the tour as his final hit out before joining his pro team in Europe after four months of battling a serious leg injury. Bennett showed glimpses of good form, finishing sixth overall and featuring in the sprint and KOM competitions. His first race back in the pro ranks is the UCI 2.HC Criterium International on the 24th and 25 of March.
Neil Sutherland (Thule Cycling Team) won the Tour’s B grade title after breaking away from tour leader Lee Johnstone (Warmup Pushbikes Cycling Team) on the final stage four hill climbing stage.
Johnstone had dominated the tour winning two stages and narrowly being edged to second on stage two. His Warmup Pushbikes team mate Darren Burns won the final stage and finished tied for first in the King of the Mountain competition with Chris Brooks (Velocity Cycling), who took the title on a count back. Burns also finished second in the sprint competition, won by Otago’s Chris Henderson.
Promising teenager Jack Ford displayed his potential, winning all three jersey competitions in C1 Grade. The 15 year old won two stages and finished second and third in the other two to finish 39 seconds clear of Greg Thompson on general classification. Geoffrey Taylor rode away from his competition on the final stage to win the C2 grade tour by one minute and 19 seconds from Andrew Ward and Nick Jones.
D grade was won by Mike Wilson and Malcolm Thornton won the E grade tour.
Josie Giddens also rounded off her final preparation for the Oceania Road Championships with a win in the Woman’s A grade; another result based on a strong time trial she won by 29 seconds from Haley Mercer (Benchmark Homes) and Sharlotte Lucas (Warmup Pushbikes Cycling Team). Lucas finished second on general classification, 38 seconds behind Giddens with Mercer in third, 10 seconds after Lucas.
The woman’s B grade was won by Tracy Suckling.