Dylan Kennett’s Commonwealth Games campaign took another step in the right direction as the South Canterbury rider won today’s elite round of the Benchmark Homes Elite Cycling Series, the Parry Field Lawyers-Ocean Ridge Classic, from Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura.
The 19 year old Bike NZ endurance track team member is focused on a good result in Glasgow but showed he is tracking well with a strong display on the road over the tough 133 kilometre route.
“I was confident going into the final climb I could win,” he said. “I go well over shorter power climbs that suit my track style, and that’s what the course was all about; after getting so close in the past I was stoked to take the win.”
After bridging across to the leaders with 40 kilometres of racing left Kennett (Breads of Europe) made his winning move in the last 20 kilometres attacking the leaders with only Michael Vink (Scotty Browns) managing to get back on terms with the young rider with 13 kilometres left.
“I just grunted the last climb in the seat and with 150 metres to go just went for it and managed to gap Michael and keep it going to the end.”
Kennett won the elite men’s race in two hours and fifty eight minutes, crossing the line seven seconds ahead of Vink with Jack Ford (Team Calder Stewart) finishing third 27 seconds behind Vink.
Wellington cyclist David Rowlands (Armstrong Subaru) won his first masters start in the series, winning in three hours and seven minutes. Rowlands got away with his team mate Reon Park and Thule’s Ian Smallman and Brad McFarlane before dominating the final climb to beat Park by 11 seconds.
Today’s results saw changes at the top of the master’s series classification leader board with Smallman taking the 35 to 44 leaders jersey off Scott Wilder (Dads Army), Thule’s Blair Stuthridge now has the 45 to 49 leaders jersey and Jorg Engelbrecht (Team Thule Cycling) will now wear the 50 plus leaders jersey for the next round in August.
Elyse Fraser (Benchmark Homes) stamped her mark on the series, moving further ahead in the series classification, winning the women’s 99 kilometre race in two hours and fifty seven minutes, powering away from team mate Sharlotte Lucus and Renee Wootton (H&J Outdoor World Avanti +) in the last 100 metres.
Mother and daughter Georgia and Michelle Gammie-Catterick (Cycle World Fairweather) are now both series leaders in the Under 19 and masters classifications.