What a privilege and a pleasure it was to witness our young riders clean up at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cycling Champs last weekend. So many fantastic results across so many age groups and events. Congratulations to the riders, their coaches, teachers , parents and supporters.
Our young riders are to be proud of both on and off the bike.
The Schools programme in Manawatu is the envy of many and really is a testament to the great work and effort put in by John Arbuckle and his team.
Saturday , the Teams Time Trial day , in Levin was for some a joy to behold as the winds came up almost to gale force. Our riders seemed to grow another leg. When the going gets tough our tough riders really did get get going.
First place for our junior girls team from PNGHS and then that was backed up by First and Second place for our Junior Team from PNBHS. Those efforts surpassed the great results from PNINS who earlier had placed second in both boys and girls. Our senior teams were only just off the very strong pace.
I cannot ever recall a single school getting first and second place in a team’s event as was achieved by PNBHS. The last time we had a team in first place on the podium was in 2003 when PNBHS secured the Junior title for the first time. That team had Jesse Sergent, Simon van Velthooven, Kent Russell and Fergus .
It was also coached by Mike McRedmond. Mike’s input over the years has been huge. The results are no coincidence.
There have been quite a few very good cyclists through his “ harry hard nuts” programme over that 10 year period. This current crop is certainly a standout and we can expect great things in the years ahead.
The Saturday and Sunday individual races was followed up by more outstanding riding from the likes of Libby Arbuckle, Emily Shearman, Michaela Drummond, Campbell Stewart, Robert Stannard, Alex West, Josh Kendall ,Jordan Castle and of course all the riders who supported team mates to ensure that PNBHS won the overall NZ Schools Champion trophy for Boys.
PHGHS were very close in the girls championship but were beaten by a school that included year 7/8 riders.
Overall a fantastic weekend and once again well done to all involved . You make the bike Manawatu community very proud.
This is what keeps us in the game!
Paul van Velthooven