Sam Horgan (Pegasus Cycling) was the standout rider over the weekend at the Manawatu Standard Fielding Festival of Cycling. Horgan showed his class when he secured wins in both the criterium race around the streets of Fielding’s CBD on Saturday, then stepped it up a notch on Sunday to also win the 90km Fielding to Apiti Joe Allen Classic graded race in 2.08:07. Horgan, a former student at PNBHS was quick to acknowledge the opportunity of riding again in Manawatu in front of his biggest fans – his parents.
The best Manawatu rider in the A grade race was PNBHS student Angus Findlay who came in fourth place and for his efforts he also took home the under 19 trophy for the first U19 rider across the line. Findlay was also the best U19 rider in the criterium race that featured Horgan as well.
Not to be outdone, younger brother Mark Findlay showed he was just as capable when during Saturday’s under 17 criterium he powered away from a large field of competitors, who incidentally were all fellow class mates from PNBHS. And just like 2010, Mark Findlay was once again the quickest rider in the 90km recreational ride from Fielding to Peep ‘O’ Day and back.
Other standout performances came from Connell Leahy (Levin Cycling) in the under 15 criterium. It quickly became a one horse race with Leahy extending his lead on every lap. Once he has put a lap on the entire field, interest in the race switched to a battle for the minor places. Leahy was then able to deliver another strong performance in the 50km recreational ride from Fielding to Kimbolton and back.
PNGHS under 17 rider Ruby Perry at this years track nationals in March caught the eye of national selectors but over the weekend she proved that she is developing as a notable rider. While she didn’t win the criterium race, she did secure third place against older and stronger competitors. Not surprisingly she was the quickest female in the 90km recreational ride to Peep ‘O’ Day.
According to the chief organiser, Matthijs van Wagtendonk, “the event was highly successful and we really want to grow this event in years to come”, he said. Testament to its growing appeal was a cameo appearance of Fielding’s Mayor, Ian McKelvie, in the 20km recreational ride.