Cycling: Chapman shows his pace

Joe Chapman, the Tour of Southland's King of the Mountain, showed he had other skills on Saturday.

Chapman won the 67km James Faulding Memorial Race on the Taieri Plain in 1hr 37min 8sec.

The race started in rain but this eventually cleared to provide perfect, warm conditions.

The scratch bunch, with a handicap of 32min over limit, worked well together and caught the middle markers at 30km and then the front markers at the 40km mark.

The pace went on in the last 5km, with only Mark Spessot, Andy Connelly, Brendon Hastie and Jacob Grieve able to hold on to Chapman.

With the finish line in sight, Chapman accelerated away from the bunch. Spessot finished 5sec behind, followed by Connelly, Hastie and Grieve.

Chapman (31), a valuer and father of two, clocked up 12-15 hours' training a week in preparation for the Tour of Southland last month.

Since his successful defence of the King of the Mountain title, training has reduced to four hours a week.

Chapman's next outing is next weekend at the New South Wales Grand Prix criterium series in Wollongong and Cronulla, an invitation-only event.

Record fields have been announced and there is no shortage of quality, with three World Tour teams, a handful of continental teams, and Australia's best domestic cyclists all lining up. Chapman's team, L&M Group, challenges Team Sky, which has won the event for the past two years.

Chapman also recorded fastest time at the Faulding Memorial in 2006 and revealed that it was personally satisfying to win the race and record fastest time this year in honour of his friend, Faulding, a promising cyclist whose goal had been to race professionally.

Fastest woman was newcomer Ali Davies, who rode consistently to cross the line in 11th place, in a time of 2hr 14min.

Racing next week is the Cooksley Memorial sealed handicap race from Brighton to Taieri Mouth and return.

By Jan Brosnahan.