2014 Elite Nationals

Postby SamultheCamul on Sat 18/Jan/14 1:01am

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Elite Nationals TT - Photo Anna Searle

It’s been a while between blog posts and I have been way off the radar in recent months. I made the decision to have a very low key holiday season this year and for once stayed at home here in Christchurch over new years rathar than travelling away to race at Vineyards or Bay Crits. While I haven’t logged a lot of racing days of late thats not to say I haven’t been training. I definately put in some hard yards on the bike over the festive season and I am very happy with how things are going for the upcoming season.


The New Zealand Elite Nationals was the first event of the season for me, with the Time Trial my major goal. Leading up to the event, it was hard not to be distracted by the media attention given to several of my rivals with smack talk about assured victories and Commonwealth Games selection being thrown around. Meanwhile I was quietly confident about my own form, having put in far more work on the TT bike than ever before.

Unfortunately, I didn’t quite nail it on the day. I had a strong ride out to the turn, recording a halfway split time that had me first equal with the eventual winner. It was slow and hard coming home however and I faded a bit, eventually finishing in second place, 12 seconds behind Taylor Gunman of the Avanti Pro Cycling Team. It was disapointing to finish in second place for the second time, however in the biggest TT of the season in New Zealand you definately need to be at your best to pull on the National Champions Jersey. My congratulation goes to Taylor who was a deserving winner.

My girlfriend Anna took a bit of cool footage from the follow car, which I have posted to YouTube below

<iframe width="609" height="343" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4ehmWSDlRnM?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Onto the road race and the city of Christchurch really turned it on that day, with great weather and huge crowds lining the ascent of Dyers Pass Road. I represented Team Budget Forklifts in the early break of the day and for the first few laps enjoyed a nice steady tempo around the course. An early attack by the pre-race favourite Hayden Roulston really threw the cat amongst the pigeons however and on the fourth lap of eleven we found ourselves joined at the front of the race by Roulston, Jack Bauer, Jesse Sergent and Tom Davidson.

Another lap later and the majority of the early break members had been dropped, leaving just Roulston, Bauer, Davidson, Grayson Napier and I at the front of the race. Unfortunately I was feeling bloody aweful, quite possibly still tired from the 40km TT just two days earlier. Bulk loads of energy gels and drink wasn’t helping my case and I was barely hanging on up the climb and pretty much unable to contribute on the back of the course.

A rear punture on the high speed descent of Hackthorne Road while chasing back onto the leaders spelt the end of my time at the front of the race and a very slow wheel change meant I was very quickly back in the next group on the road. Too make matters worse, I had recieved a wheel with a much smaller cassette than I had been using previously and the next time up the climb finished me off for the day. Up ahead Roulston won the race in a sprint from Bauer while my two team mates Dan and Wes had solid rides for 7th and 8th.

I’ve got a busy couple of months ahead, with the UCI2.2 NZ Cycle Classic in late Jan being backed up immediately by the UCI2.1 Jayco Herald Sun Tour. Soon after that are the Oceania Championships in Toowoomba where I will hope to improve on my nationals TT and match my win in 2012.

Until then, i’ll try and keep this blog updated with content a bit more regularly!
Thanks for reading.
Sam

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Link to original article: http://www.samhorgan.com/cycling/2014-elite-nationals/
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Original Published: 12:10pm Friday, 17th January 2014 - NZST
SamultheCamul
Member for: 14 years 8 months

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