Gordon McCauley proved too strong for his final breakaway companions on the 104 kms Hudson Gavin Martin Classic today, out sprinting Christchurch’s Paul Odlin to increase his lead in the national road cycling points series.
The pair had started the last lap with Odlin’s Bici Vida team-mate Shem Rodger, the trio having a 30 second lead over a chasing Nick Lovegrove and Aaron Strong.
Rodger was dropped by the leading pair and faded to fifth behind Lovegrove and Strong.
These five riders were part of a breakaway group of a dozen on the first of four laps. The chasing bunch of more than 30 riders, led by the Black Peloton team which did not have a rider in the breakaway bunch made a valiant, but ultimately fruitless attempt to bridge the gap.
In the strong winds, the leading dozen steadily built up a lead over the first 60 kms, before the strength of McCauley, Odlin and Rodger saw the leaders break up on the third lap.
In the tough conditions, Melissa Holt, who like McCauley, will be riding the individual road time trial at New Delhi was responsible for the steady disintegration of the women’s 78 kms race. By the start of the third and last lap, Holt only had Tauranga’s Courtney Lowed and Jeannie Kuhajek from Nelson for company. Kuhajek dropped off the pace and finished third, while Holt led out a long sprint, with Lowe biding her time until the final 75 metres when she had enough energy left to come over Holt and take a narrow win.
McCauley’s win extends his lead in the national points series over Matt Gorter and Josh Atkins, while Kuhajek’s third place lifts her to fourth in the standings behind Karen Fulton, Cath Cheatley and Serena Sheridan.
Hudson, Gavin & Martin Auckland 1000 Cycle Road Race
Men, 104 kms: 1, G McCauley (Counties Manukau); 2, P Odlin (Bici Vida); 3, N Lovegrove (Subway Avanti); 4, A Strong (CMC); 5, S Rodger (B.V.); 6, J Cooper (S.A).
Women, 78 kms: 1, C Lowe (Tauranga); 2, M Holt (Te Awamutu); 3, J Kuhajek (Tasman); 4, P McCoy (CMC); 5, H Giddens (Port Nicholson Poneke); 6, G Williams (Nth Harb).