With an 8 strong team contesting the U15, U17 and U19 titles, Manawatu school champs was a perfect event two weeks out from North Island Secondary school champs for the PNGHS cycling team.
All 3 of our U15 contenders had come from the PNINS cycling team with some quality experience under their belts. Libby Arbuckle was the clear winner of the U15 Girls category with her power and national titles behind her; while little Gorgi Van Lienen had a great day of racing, and also Megan Gardiner who is definitely developing into a strong rider with a 3rd place in the Time trial. It was great to hear these girls talking about the racing on Monday and how much fun they had!
In the U17 Girls category Jaimee Leader was a serious contender as she builds up for Junior Triathlon World championships in London
later this year, taking out the hill climb and 2nd in the Time trial. Michaela Drummond also showed her class, cleaning up in her preferred event, the Points Race. Simone Davie remained consistent with some very impressive rides, not far behind Michaela. She was a trooper in the points race and managed to get back onto the bunch several times showing her awesome resilience.
The U19 Girls was a friendly battle between the ‘twinnies’ Kate Stewart and Ruby Perry. The school champs were Kate’s first major event back after a wee spell off the bike due to illness, and she definitely showed her natural talent throughout the day. After being back on the bike for 6 weeks or so, she is not far off the pace and is improving every day. It is great to have her positivity and presence back in the cycling community.
On behalf of the Girls high team who competed on the day, I would like to thank all of the volunteers (especially Dad) who gave up their entire Sunday to support such a great event in it’s 3rd year running. It was awesome to see a few out-of-towners come along and race.
Also all the wee Yr 7 & 8 riders who are the promising future of Manawatu School Cycling. All in all it was a very enjoyable laid-back day of racing and great preparation for Cambridge. Good luck in advance to all the kids competing at the North Islands and remember to: have fun and learn from it, and always say thank you to mum and dad for getting you up there.
Thanks again, Ruby Perry (PNGHS cycling captain)