PNBHS Senior A along with PNGHS Junior A and PN Intermediate Normal Year 7/8 boys all took second placings at the coveted North Island Schools Cycling team time trial champs held in Cambridge on 2nd July. In what were pretty good winter conditions, the PNBHS team were only 17 seconds slower than eventual winners Hamilton Boys’ High School over the 16km course. “We certainly had some very high hopes this year and we are all very pleased with the outcome,” said team captain, Luuk van Wagtendonk. “We now know where we stack up against the other teams and we can focus on developing more speed.”
The PNGHS Junior Team’s second placing was an unexpected result for most but it was nothing that did not surprise the team’s coach, Denise Brown. “We have been developing this combination for a while now and they worked tirelessly for the result,” she added. I’m over the moon with the girls’ performance.
What remains a promising sign of things to come was the result of the PN Intermediate Normal Team. Anchoring the team was their linchpin Campbell Stewart who is displaying significant promise on both the road and track. The results indicate that the growth and development of the schools cycling programme appears relatively assured but as Howard Pinder, the PNBHS Cycling coordinator argues, “it reinforces the wisdom that saw the schools programme incorporated under the umbrella of Bike Manawatu”a few years ago. We are definitely seeing pleasing results across the grades.
So unlucky not to medal was the PNBHS Junior A team who were narrowly beaten by 200’s of a second by the Massey High School Junior A Team. While they finished with the same time, officials were required to carefully scrutinise the results to determine the actual final placing. The boys were lamenting the very close result afterwards asking themselves – what if? However, all is not lost and there is another opportunity to square off again when the teams will face one another when the schools competition moves to Levin in October. We look forward to changing our positions on the ledger next time suggested their team captain, George Roberts.
Breaking with tradition and not without some controversy, event organisers chose to relocate this year’s event from Gordonton to Cambridge. Given the sheer numbers of riders now participating, the event has grown well beyond the capacity that Gordonton School could logistically support or sustain. According to Howard Pinder, “it made logical sense to relocate the event to Cambridge.” Similar sentiments were expressed by other parents who in the past had endured poor parking arrangements and a lack of suitable wet weather shelter for riders at the old venue. Despite its success over the years, one has to question whether the same fate may befall the Levin event at Koputuroa in the near term.