Champion effort from Wānaka cyclists at Nationals
Two young cyclists from Wānaka have scored top results in last weekend’s Cycling New Zealand Elite Road National Championships held in Tokoroa last weekend.
Muireann Green, who races for Black Magic Women’s Cycling, was crowned U19 women’s champion in the 22.9km Individual Time Trial, with the next fastest cyclist 18 seconds behind.
Meanwhile, Carter Guichard of Southern Junior Development Team crossed the line in third place after a bunch sprint in the U19 men’s road race over a 106 km course.
The Championships saw some 150 riders from around New Zealand competing for national titles, with South Islanders featuring heavily on the podium.
Green’s win on Friday makes her a double national champion, after winning the National U19 Criterium Championship in Palmerston North earlier this year.
To win two national titles in the space of two weeks is “a dream come true” for the young rider, who also came 4th in the U19 Women’s road race on Saturday.
“I am still letting it sink in,” she said. “These titles are fantastic, and I’m super proud to be able to wear the silver fern in Europe later this year as I take my cycling to the next level in Europe.”
Green and Guichard are both soon to pack their bags - and bike boxes - for many months of training and racing in Europe, stopping on the way to compete in the Oceania road cycling championships at the end of March. Green is joining the Watersley Racing and Development Cycling Team in the Netherlands, from where she will compete in races around Europe.
Guichard was selected last year to join the AG2R Citröen U19 team, and has races scheduled throughout the 2023 season with the team as a first year U19.
Guichard also placed 6th in the U19 men’s time trial event, with fellow Wānaka cyclist Hugo Sinclair placing 12th. Both riders are first year U19s and plan to return in 12 months to compete in the U19 championships again.
Numerous U19 riders from the lower South Island stepped onto the podium over the weekend, including Eli Tregidga (Queenstown) 1st and Marshall Erwood (Invercargill) 2nd in the in U19 Men’s Road Race, and Dunedin’s James Gardner, 3rd in the U19 Men’s Individual Time Trial as well as Kirsty Watts and Zoe Spillane (both of Canterbury) who were 2nd and 3rd in the U19 Women’s Individual Time Trial.
Main image (Supplied): Muireann Green pulls on the National Champion jersey for the second time this year.