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Report: success at recent Cycling Championships

The North Island Secondary Schools Road Cycling Championships were held on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July, followed by the New Zealand Secondary Schools Track Cycling Championships on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 July, both in Cambridge.

The Road Cycling Championships were held in very cold, rainy and windy conditions which the boys braved valiantly. The spirit with which the boys immersed themselves in the event and supported each other did not go unnoticed. The standout performance from the Championships was the Under 20 Time Trial team of Form 5 student R. Y. Turnbull, Form 6 students J. A. J. Barclay, B. C. Pawson and Z. F. Wyllie, and Captain of Cycling F. A. Malpass who finished in a time of 21:10 to win by 37 seconds. This was an improvement of 27 seconds on their 2022 winning time and are favourably placed to repeat this performance at the National Championships in Palmerston North in September.

Barclay, who was valiantly supported by Turnbull and fellow Form 5 student C. P. Wagener, won the U17 Criterium in a scintillating photo finish, while S. R. Spath battled ever deteriorating conditions to secure third place in the Under 17B Criterium. This set the scene for J. Kwon to place third in the Under 15 Criterium in an equally riveting race which involved the podium finishers exclusively.

Kwon then joined Form 4 students G. G. Pollard, B. L. Mackenzie and N. C. Merrill in the Under 15 Time Trial to place third with a time of 23:50, having shown consistent improvement throughout the season.

Two days later, the team competed at the National Track Championships held at the Grassroots Trust Velodrome. The highlight was once again the Under 20 team of Malpass, Pawson, Turnbull and Wyllie who won the team pursuit event in convincing fashion.

Malpass, Pawson and Wyllie then showed their versatility by backing up their team pursuit gold medal with a bronze in the team sprint.

In the junior grade, Mackenzie rode alongside Form 3 students J. F. M. Mihec, K. J. L. Strydom and J. L. Turnbull in the Under 15 Team Pursuit. The team missed out on the final, but bounced back to win the bronze medal ride.

The standout individual performance was by J. Kwon, who won gold in the Under 15 National Track Omnium Event, which consists of three races – the Scratch, Keirin and Points Race. Kwon won all three of these events and was awarded the overall Top Male Rider Award at the event.

In addition, Malpass, Pawson, Turnbull and Wyllie all achieved podium finishes across the range of individual races that are held as part of the event, with Wyllie picking up the gold medal in the North Island Points Race.

The tireless work of the coaches (M. Findlow and R. van Uden) and parents have enabled the boys to enjoy success at the North Island Championships. Special thanks to Master in Charge J. Fry for his continued support of the squad.