Fouche seizes moment to win road race

National champion James Fouche completed a dominant display from New Zealand riders at the Oceania road race on the streets of Brisbane on Sunday.

The 23-year-old had planned to set up the sprint for one of his Black Spokes team-mates in the 124km race, but when the gap opened on the technical turns off the freeway, and with a perfect lead-out from an Australian under-23 rider, he sprinted to the elite title.

Fouche’s team-mate, Tom Sexton, finished second in the elite race to complete an excellent week in Queensland with honours on the track, and runner-up position in the road time trial near Ipswich on Saturday.

The New Zealanders were always attentive not to let several breaks become race-defining.

A small group pushed away on the final climb, which was technical on the tight corners off the freeway, but Fouche had the final say.

"We were hoping to do a big lead-out around the back but a few gaps opened up around the chicane and the under-23 rider pushed away to give me a good lead-out," Fouche said.

"The right-hand turn off the motorway we felt was crucial as it was slightly uphill the whole way. We wanted to be first into that, which we managed.

"When one of the boys behind me told me to go, I put my head down. When I looked back there was only the under-23 rider on the wheel so I went for it."

The women’s race splintered on the climb on both laps of their 89km journey, led by Wanaka rider Kim Cadzow, a noted climber.

On the second climb, the bunch had reduced to 10 riders with Josie Talbot out-sprinting the group in the technical run into the final for the elite victory in an Australian shut-out of the podium.

Ella Wyllie used her track speed to sprint home to claim the under-23 victory.

Fellow Kiwi Annamarie Lipp, another who competed strongly on the track last week, finished on the under-23 podium just ahead of Cadzow.

Hawkes Bay rider Toby Evans finished on the podium in the junior men, leading home the peloton sprint for third in the 89km race.

In para cycling, Nicole Murray completed a successful campaign with victory in the women’s C5 road race over 49km ahead of Australian Bronwyn Dolman.

On Saturday, Aaron Gate followed his outstanding feats on the track with a dominant display to win the time trial by over a minute.

Other podium performances in the time trial went to the Paralympic pairing of Murray, with a win in the C5 time trial, and Sarah Ellington, runner-up in the C2 classification.

Cadzow again showed her prowess over the timed distance with second in the women’s event.

Logan Currie claimed the under-23 time trial in 42min 59.03sec, a time good enough for the top five in the elite race. Nelson’s Keegan Hornblow, another to make his mark on the track last week, was third.

--  STAFF REPORTER

 

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