Multi national champion Gordon McCauley made a rare appearance to win the RaboPlus national club road race title in Hawkes Bay today.
McCauley (Counties Manukau) managed the final sprint to dispose of Joseph Cooper (Port Nicholson Poneke) and Shem Rodger (Te Awamutu Sports) to take out the title.
He used his experience in the windy conditions to make the key breaks that led to victory.
“The crosswinds were really strong. It reminded me of the Tour of Southland,” McCauley said.
“I waited for the strongest of them and went and that split things up pretty much and sent again and that left three of us away –me, Jo Cooper and Shem Rodger.
“I knew I could outsprint Jo so I waited for the final sprint.”
McCauley said he rarely competes in the club nationals.
“It’s primarily for the age group cyclists but I had nine people competing that I coach, so I thought I would come. Also my Counties Manukau club have been good to me and they really wanted to win the club trophy.
“It was no easy day though with the hills and the winds.”
McCauley said he extended his season a further week to compete but will now take a break before preparing to focus on the time trial and his attempt to win selection for the Commonwealth Games.
“That’s my focus and if I make the team then it will be totally about preparing for the time trial which is a different beat than a road race.”
Cooper finished second, with both riders clocking 4:21.19 for the 180kms, with Shem Rodger (Waikato) third across the line to claim the under-23 honours.
Chris Nicholson (Tasman Wheelers), who won the time trial on Friday, finished third in the senior men.
Results, RaboPlus national club championships:
Senior men, 180km: Gordon McCauley (Counties Manukau) 4:21.19, 1; Joseph Cooper (Port Nicholson Poneke) same time, 2; Chris Nicholson (Tasman Wheelers) 4:24.22, 3.
Under 23: Shem Rodger (Te Awamutu Sports) 4:21.19, 1; Sean Joyce (Forestland Wheelers) 4:24.22, 2; Louis Crosby (Counties Manukau) same time, 3.