Christchurch rider Sam Horgan can enjoy a well earned break after claiming the RaboDirect national club road championship in Hawkes Bay today.
Horgan has put together the best five months in his career, starting with the elite time trial title against some of the country’s best professionals in January, the Oceania time trial honours in Queenstown last month as well as runner-up in the road race, and now individual glory in the club road championships.
The Subway Pro cycling rider also won the time trial title on Wednesday, and while that was predicted, today’s victory was hard-earned.
A brave seven-strong group went early in the six-lap 174km race and after 70kms had established a 5min 40sec advantage. After four laps a trio of Dan Warren from the host Ramblers club, Daniel Molyneux from Hamilton’s Dynamo club and Michael Naylor from Wellington’s Port Nicholson Poneke were still 1:47 ahead of Josh Page (Ramblers) and leading under-23 rider Simon Binney (Tauranga) with Horgan in a group of three over two minutes back.
Horgan and Hagan pushed through to eventually catch the lead trio on the final lap with Horgan proving too strong in the final sprint. He won out from Warren and Hagan.
“That was so hard,” Horgan said. “I thought that four minutes was about as much as we could let them go. When we heard it was 5:30 it meant we had to go and much earlier than I had wanted.
“It took everything to catch them.”
Horgan said he was unsure of his form coming into the event after just returning from riding the Tour of Korea where he did not perform as well as he wanted in the demanding conditions.
“I just had to dig deep today. I had to put my head down and go for it. But it’s a great way to finish this block. I think I need a break now and then reset myself for the Tour of Southland later in the year and then January’s elite championships.”
Binney held on to get reward for his brave front running to take out the under-23 honours.
Earlier former top rating English professional Dave Mann (Hamilton) celebrated his rise to the 50-54 years ranks with a superb sprint victory in his age group, which featured a number of well known athletes including the well performance Jim McMurray and former Ironman world champion Scott Molina.
It brought to an end the four day championship in the Hawkes Bay.
Masters 50-54, 87km: Dave Mann (Hamilton City) 2:15:40, 1; Andrew Morrissey (Counties Manukau) 2:15:40, 2; Jim McMurray (Forestland Wheelers) 2:15:40, 3.
Elite Men, 176km: Sam Horgan (Pegasus) 4:27:13, 1; Dan Warren (Ramblers Cycling Club Inc) same time, 2; Andrew Hagan (Port Nicholson Poneke Cycling Club) same time, 3.
Under 23, 176km: Simon Binney (Tauranga) 4:28:00, 1; Matthew Markby (Marsden Wheelers) 4:28:46, 2; James McCoy (Papanui) same time, 3.
Paracyclist Men 58km:
C2: Stephen Hills (Cycling New Plymouth) 2:46:35, 1. C3: Nathan Smith (Cycling New Plymouth) 2:25:25, 1. C4: Craig Hill (Ramblers) 2:34:15, 1.