Report: New Zealand Secondary Schools Cycling Championships
The New Zealand Secondary Schools Cycling Championships were held in Palmerston North during the first weekend of the Term 3 holidays, with the weather conditions as expected – cold, windy and intermittent rain
The Team Time Trial was held in Rongotea in windy and wet conditions which made the technical course more challenging. The Junior A fought hard, but missed out on third place by just 12 seconds.
The Senior race was filled with suspense and nervous tension. Westlake Boys High School were the first team on the course and set a time of 22:14 which remained the fastest time for each subsequent school. The Senior A team (pictured above) were the last team to start, 2 minutes behind the Senior B team.
Both teams focussed on maintaining their structure. With a 1km finishing straights and with poor visibility and the commentator adding to the suspense, it was the Senior A who appeared into view. They completed the course in 21:46 to retain the Sir Bernard Ferguson trophy for the second year in succession.
The 20km Road Race took place at Halcolmbe. While punctures, mechanical failures and ill health militated against the team, Form 5 student J. Kwon took second place in a tactical race in the Under 16 category.
The last day of racing saw the team contending with wintery conditions at the Manfeild Raceway in Fielding for the Points Race.
J. Kwon won the Under 16 event during which he showed his cycling acumen in overcoming the combined efforts of Westlake Boys and Palmerston North Boys High Schools, while classmate C. P. Wagener won the Under 17 event, through the combined efforts of Form 5 student R. Y. Turnbull and Form 6 student J. A. J. Barclay making this result possible.
The concerted efforts of the entire squad over the three events culminated in the School securing third place in the Top School competition.
J. Kwon and four of the members of the Senior A Cycling team (with two in absentia due to Cambridge examinations) crossed stage on Wednesday 11 October to receive their national medals, the Sir Bernard Ferguson trophy and the School’s congratulations.