We had two junior tours over the last few weekends, the CRI Tour in Rotorua and TeAwamutu Jnr Tour – both of significance to the NZ junior selectors for the 2011 teams.
Mark Findlay’s strong performances at the Central Hawkes Bay, Rotorua and Te Awamutu cycling tours will definitely have caught the eye of NZ selectors. He finished 2nd, 1st and 7th respectively in the three tours. His consistent performances would be sufficient enough to justify a place in the NZ U17 team.
The CRI Tour in Rotorua is a hard two-day event, which started in the pouring rain on the first stage. U15 rider Michaela Drummond did herself proud coming 1st overall in the CRI tour. Michaela also competed in the U15 Te Awamutu Tour finishing 3rd general classification (GC). Elizabeth Stannard rode strong to finish 4th GC in the Rotorua tour, managing to win the last stage convincingly. Matiu Kaihau performed well in the time trial in the CRI tour finishing 3rd and placing him well for future events. U15 rider Josh Kendall also proved to be something special with his strong ride in Rotorua winning Stage 1 and placing a very respectable 7th overall GC.
As one of NZ premiere Junior Tours, the Te Awamutu Cycle tour really tests the junior riders’ abilities over three days of tough racing. More importantly however, the Te Awamutu tour provides opportunities for riders to benchmark themselves against other riders outside of national competition. Aside from Mark’s strong finish on general classification, there were some other surprise performances in the U17 grade where Jordan Castle and George Roberts finished 24th and 25th respectively.
In the U19 grade, Miguel Dib was the best-placed finisher securing 15th place in his first year as an U19 rider. As the weekend progressed, he continued to move up on general classification. Others U19 riders to perform admirably also included Angus Findlay (22nd) and Luuk Van Wagtendonk (36th).
All three tours were hard gruelling events and well patronised by a strong contingent of upper echelon riders in the U15, U17 and 19 grades.
You should all be proud of your efforts. Well done!
Written by Oiroa Kaihau