Wānaka cyclists on Milford Mountain Classic podium

Mar 10, 2023

Two young Wānaka cyclists took top honours at this year’s Milford Mountain Classic road race. The 120km race stretches from Milford Sound to the lakefront at Te Anau, and takes in some of New Zealand’s most iconic scenery.

Carter Guichard

Around 80 riders lined up at Milford Sound at the start of the race, but not surprisingly by the time the first riders reached the Homer Tunnel, the race was split up over the 10km climb to the tunnel entrance.

The four lead riders were together at the highest point of the race - with Carter Guichard crossing the KOM line at the top of the Homer Tunnel. He is thought to have broken the record, but this year it was not officially timed.

At the second climb, Guichard and Southland rider Matt Zenovich broke away and worked together for the rest of the race to reach Te Anau together, with Guichard winning at the sprint for the finish line.

Fellow Wānaka rider Hugo Sinclair rode solo for most of the race in a strong performance to chase the leaders back to Te Anau, crossing in third just 15 minutes behind Guichard and Zenovich, with the next riders in turn finishing 13 minutes behind him.

Guichard and Sinclair are both 16 and attend Mount Aspiring College in Wānaka, as well as being members of the Southern Junior Development Team. They spent three months in France last year during New Zealand’s winter, cycling competitively. It was during this time that Guichard was signed by the AG2R Citröen U19 team for the 2023 season. Guichard returns to France next month for his first summer season with the team.

Main image (Supplied): Top three (from left) Carter Guichard, Matt Zenovich and Hugo Sinclair at the end of the 120km Milford Mountain Classic.

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