Torckler, Lucas Claim Elite Titles At Club Cycling Nationals

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Mon 20/Apr/15 1:17pm

Taranaki professional Michael Torckler charged home over the final 8kms to win the New Zealand Club Road Cycling Championships in Hawkes Bay.

Torckler, from Stratford, is riding this year across the Tasman for Budge Forklifts, an Oceania Continental team that includes fellow Kiwis Sam Horgan, Westley Gough, Myron Simpson and Daniel Barry.

Torckler, who turned 28 this week, was in a three-strong break with evergreen Gordon McCauley (Counties Manukau) and Australian Sean Finning, now based in Cambridge and riding for Te Awamutu Sports.

The trio pushed clear after a big early break was reeled in midway through the 156km race around the well-known and testing Puketapu circuit near Taradale.

Torckler went on to win solo in 3:58.38, finishing 25 seconds clear of McCauley with Finning a further three minutes back in third.

The Taranaki rider is remember when he recovered from a near-fatal accident when he was hit by a vehicle while training in Northern California in 2012.

The elite women’s race over 105km was a tighter affair with five riders going clear on the final lap, resulting in a sprint finish in favour of Canterbury rider Sharlotte Lucas (Papanui) in 3:01.54.

Lucas, formerly from Hokitika, has been one of the form young road riders in Canterbury this summer, and like Tockler, recovered from a hit and run earlier this year.

In a sprint finish, Lucas held off young local prospect Hannah van Kampen (Ramblers) and two London Olympians in triathlete Kate McIlroy (Port Nicholson Poneke) and mountain biker Karen Hanlen (Whakatane).

Avanti Racing professional Fraser Gough, from Central Hawkes Bay, proved too strong to win the under-23 race by three minutes.

However a sprint was required to decide the under-19 titles, with the men going to outstand0ng Palmerston North prospect, Campbell Stewart and the women to Central Otago’s Mikayla Harvey.

Elite men, 156km: Michael Torckler (Stratford) 3:53.38, 1; Gordon McCauley (Counties Manukau) at 25s, 2; Sean Finning (Te Awamutu) at 3:25, 3; Sam Horgan (Pegasus) at 4:31, 4; Daniel Barry (Tasman Wheelers) at 7.21, 5.

Elite women, 105km: Sharlotte Lucas (Papanui) 3:01.54, 1; Hannah van Kampen (Ramblers) same time, 2; Kate McIlroy (Port Nicholson Poneke) at 1 sec, 3; Karen Hanlen (Whakatane) same time, 4; Nadene Hawley (Port Nicholson Poneke) same time, 5.

Under-23 men, 156km: Fraser Gough (Ramblers) 3:58.08, 1; Ryan Christensen (Hamilton City) at 3:02, 2; Jason Thomason (Stratford) at 3:08, 3.

Undr-19 Women 78km: Mikayla Harvey (Central Otago) 2:17.02, 1; Michaela Drummond (Manawatu) same time, 2; Hannah Gumbely (North Harbour) same time, 3.

Under-19 Men, 105km: Campbell Stewart (Manawatu) 2:39.15, 1; Robert Stannard (Manawatu) same time, 2; Sam Dobbs (Te Awamutu) same time, 3.
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