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Photo ©: Sirotti

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New Zealand National Championships - CN

New Zealand, January 11-13, 2008

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Stage 3 - January 13: Elite Men Road Race, U23 Road Race

Dean scores first Team Slipstream victory of the season

Julian Dean scored the first victory for his new Slipstream team in successfully defending his national title in the Lion Foundation New Zealand road cycling championships in Hawkes Bay. He outsprinted Waimate's Heath Blackgrove to the finish in a repeat of their one-two finish last year, with Wellington's Scott Lyttle third. It proved a tough day with temperatures in the mid 30 degress Celsius, with Dean biding his time before making his move in the final 20kms of the 182km race.

"This course was not as tough as last year and that meant quite a few more riders were prominent in the race," Dean said. "It meant I had to be a bit more strategic and I had to take up the peleton a few times to ensure the pace stayed on.

"I was probably in better shape than this time last year although a bit uncertain after my knee surgery."

Dean was delighted to defend his title, and also pick up the New Zealand ride of the year honours. "It means that I am able to wear the national jersey around the world this year. I had so many comments this past year from Kiwis and those in Europe. It gives New Zealand an identity in Europe on the cycling scene and in those big races like the Tour of Italy and Tour de France."

How it unfolded

Four time champion Gordon McCauley went clear from the gun and was joined in a six-strong breakaway including Sam Bewley, Robin Reid, Karl Murray, Clinton Avery and Peter Rennie.

They opened a three minute buffer that hovered around the same mark for 80kms. McCauley was then joined by Rennie to open up a slight gap, before Auckland team-mates Aaron Strong and Michael Northey joined him on the fifth of seven laps.

The lead came down under the minute mark with Dean driving the 27-man peleton with the brave front-running tactics swallowed up on the penultimate lap.

Lyttle stretched clear but he was hauled on up the climb for the second to last time as the peleton broke up. Dean and Blackgrove followed Lyttle up the climb for the final time before Dean was able to slip past in the dash to the finish.

"I didn't really know how hard to push tings as it was really hot and over the last 30km you have to look after yourself," Dean said. "I was not too worried about the guys out in front as it is a big ask to go away in conditions like this."

Dean is happy with his form as he heads away this week to race for his new team where he will be the number one sprinter.

There were other encouraging performances with Napier's Jeremy Yates, the national club champion, racing prominently for fourth place just ahead of time trial winner Logan Hutchings.

It was an Auckland trifecta in the under-23 race with Thomas Hanover out-sprinting Alex Meenhorst and Chris Macic with a photo finish needed to split the three, who were given the same time.


Elite men

1 Julian Dean (Waikato/Bay of Plenty)           4.51.49 (37.42 km/h)
2 Heath Blackgrove (Mid South Canterbury)          0.07
3 Scott Lyttle (Wellington)                        0.10
4 Jeremy Yates (East Coast North Island)           0.50
5 Logan Hutchings (Waikato/Bay of Plenty)          1.06
6 Jeremy Vennell (East Coast North Island)         1.19
7 Justin Kerr (Waikato/Bay of Plenty)              2.33
8 Tim Gudsell (Waikato/Bay of Plenty)              2.49
9 Glen Chadwick (East Coast North Island)              
10 Paul Odlin (Nelson Marlborough)                 5.56
11 Robin Reid (Nelson Marlborough)                     
12 Gordon Mccauley (Auckland)                      7.55
13 Peter Latham (Waikato/Bay of Plenty)            8.05
14 Graeme Stone (Wellington)                           
15 Stephen Elden (Canterbury)                      8.06
16 Brett Tivers (West Coast North Island)          8.07
17 Joe Cooper (Wellington)                        11.51
18 Josh Page (East Coast North Island)            17.55
U23 Men

1 Thomas Hanover (Auckland)                     4.58.08 (36.63 km/h)
2 Alexander Meenhorst (Auckland)                       
3 Chris Macic (Auckland)                               
4 Ryan Wills (Waikato/Bay of Plenty)               0.01
5 Brad Carter (Waikato/Bay of Plenty)              0.03
6 Michael Torckler (West Coast North Island)       1.46
7 James Williamson (Southland)                     1.47
8 Edward Barett (Canterbury)                           
9 Michael Northey (Auckland)                           
10 Edwin Crossling (Wellington)                        
11 Matt Sillars (Auckland)                        11.35
12 Jos Barley (Wellington)                        11.36
13 Chris Sanson (West Coast North Island)              
14 James Dobson (West Coast North Island)         16.30
15 Mark Langlands (Waikato/Bay of Plenty)         23.37