‘It’s terrible’: females few in fastest farmer cycle event

Avril Lane never expected to be one of so few flying the flag for female farmers.

It was only just before the start of the inaugural Anchor Milk Cycle Race yesterday that she realised she made up half the female farmer contingent.

The 66km race, in Weston near Oamaru, was split into two sections — a cycle club competition and an event to find New Zealand’s fastest farmer.

While there were plenty of female competitors in the club competition, Lane was one of just two women out of 28 farmers in the latter.

The other was Andrea Ludemann.

"It’s terrible, disappointing — we need to get more involved," Lane said.

However, nothing could wipe the smile from the Morven dairy farmer’s face, excited as she was to compete in the event on the Devils Bridge course.

"I think it’s absolutely awesome — 100%."

Avril Lane  was one of only two female cyclists competing in the fastest farmer section of the...
Avril Lane was one of only two female cyclists competing in the fastest farmer section of the Anchor Milk Cycle Race yesterday. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Lane is an avid road cyclist and mountain biker. She recently took up triathlons and finished fourth in this year’s Challenge Wanaka 40-plus age group.

The club competition had two cups at stake, for fastest male and female, named after South Canterbury and Waitaki cycling stalwarts Geoff Lienert and Adair Craik respectively.

Tim Rush won the Geoff Lienert Cup and Michaela Rohan claimed the Adair Craik Cup.

Lane said she and Lienert were good family friends and she was rapt to compete in the event.

"He comes and supports my children at all their sports, so it’s my turn to come and support him."

The race also attracted some of the region’s top cyclists, including Taz Selfe and Tim and Chris Rush.

Race organiser Michelle Carson was rapt with the response to the event, in which 77 cyclists competed.

"We’re pretty stoked. We hoped to get 50. It’s the first time, so hopefully it’ll continue from here," she said.

kayla.hodge@odt.co.nz

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