Dunedin’s Gardner wins 71km classic race

Dunedin rider James Gardner (front) pumps for the McQuarrie St finish line of the Stonewood Homes...
Dunedin rider James Gardner (front) pumps for the McQuarrie St finish line of the Stonewood Homes Gore to Invercargill Classic on Saturday. Photo: Eugene Bonthuys/ Supplied
Riders from across the South Island descended on Southland at the weekend to take part in New Zealand’s longest-running club classic cycling race.

About 50 cyclists rode the 71km distance from Gore to Invercargill in the Stonewood Homes Gore to Invercargill race on Saturday.

Cycling South Marketing manager Eugene Bonthuys said the race was first run in 1930, and the trophy featured some top names in the sport.

It's the first time James Gardner took part in the race. Photo: Luisa Girao
It's the first time James Gardner took part in the race. Photo: Luisa Girao
The race was run using a handicap format, with riders starting in reverse order of ability, he said.

This means that the fastest riders, who start in the "scratch" group, have the biggest deficit to make up, giving everyone the chance to cross the line in first place.

The first cyclist who crossed the line in Invercargill was 16-year-old James Gardner, of Dunedin, who was also the fastest under-19 rider.

About 50 cyclists rode the 71km distance from Gore to Invercargill in the Stonewood Homes Gore to...
About 50 cyclists rode the 71km distance from Gore to Invercargill in the Stonewood Homes Gore to Invercargill race on Saturday. Photo: Luisa Girao
Gardner was pleased with the achievement as it was the first time he had taken part in the race and it was a good start to the beginning of the mountain bike season.

"I always ... enjoy that side of things. Racing comes second ... the joy of training hard is racing becomes something fun ... to look forward to."

The victory was even more special as it was during his last holiday weekend, a good start for his school year, he said.

luisa.girao@odt.co.nz
 

 

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