This weekend Bike Manawatu will have close to a record level of entries (32) to the Club Road Nationals to be held in Cambridge. What is most impressive is the range of entries from Junior right through to the Masters categories with a Bike Manawatu representative in virtually every age group.
The way our riders are performing and the form they are in, suggests we could have a host of National Champions by the end of the weekend.
Over recent weeks our riders have been on the podium in the Te Awamutu Tour, the CHB Tour and the Easter Tour in Wairarapa.
The Te Awamutu Tour in particular has a great history of providing future champions and is an important selection race for the Junior riders.
This year we had Robert Stannard and Campbell Stewart place first and second in the U17 grade. Awesome work and possibly a first time that one club has scooped the first two places. Robert is the first Manawatu rider to win U17 since James Dobson in 2005. Campbell has been second the past two years running. Campbell won U15 in 2012.
I recall Luke MCarthy won the U19 KOM in 2002 and then overall GC in 2003 before he went on to represent NZ at the Junior World Champs in Canada.
Michalea Drummond won the U17 girls GC this year which is a first for girls from our area.
It is important to celebrate successes as they cannot be guaranteed and the gaps can be wide. I have a feeling though that we should brace for much more success in the short to medium term at least.
Well done to all the riders on making it to the Road Nationals. The progress some have made over the past year is impressive and I am sure we will have more names to celebrate by the end of this weekend. Have fun.
Wear your Bike Manawatu jersey with distinction and go well…. and big thanks to John Arbuckle for being team manager.