Bike Manawatu has a very talented membership base who enjoy varying levels of success across all age groups, in particular the Under 23 and below age groups right now.
We have had a dedicated group of riders come through the junior ranks, who have been aided by the amazing and supportive parents that make up Manawatu Schools Cycling. We enjoyed probably the best success rate of any club at the U23 and Elite Road Nationals held in Napier during early January.
We have a number of members and former members competing internationally at the moment, and while they are all making us immensely proud, I’d like to focus on our young women.
The Mike Greer Homes Women Cycling Team which includes local members Connie O’Brien and Libby Arbuckle, are now 6 weeks into their European racing Campaign.
They have raced 5 UCI races with one to go – Tour De Femmine in Czech Republic. Recently both of our girls got a bronze. Libby got 3rd in a crit in the Netherlands where she had a Stellar race being in a break away with Track world champion Annett Edmondson for a few laps. While Connie got her first UCI podium, gaining bronze in a climbing crit also in the Netherlands where the bunch split to pieces right from the get go.
The team also includes former Manawatu resident Alana Forster – while Alana is now living in the beautiful Hawke’s Bay, she is Australian – so we’ll make the aussies and claim her as our own – just like they do with the Finn brothers, pavlova and the like
Emily Shearman left for Belgium in May with the NZ Women’s Endurance Track Cycling Squad to train and race in preparation for up coming Oceania Champs and some World Cup Events later in year. They went on to Czech Republic to race and now have been in Bergamo Italy for the last 2 weeks on a training block for 4 weeks. In next week or so they will move on to Switzerland for a Track Cycling Training block and will compete in some Track Racing meetings before returning home at the end of the month.
Another former Manawatu cyclist, Deborah Paine has gone from strength to strength since making the switch from Cross country running to cycling – in Palmerston North. Once Deborah jumped on a bike, her athletic ability was obvious, and once she boned her cycling skills, it was only a matter of time before she began competing at an elite level, and it had just been announced that Deborah has a start at the Giro Rosa – the biggest race on the women’s calendar.
These results and achievements are fantastic and bike Manawatu is very proud of all of our riders, and wishes them all the best in their remaining races and events.