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K2 Road Cycling Classic - NE
New Zealand, November 1, 2008
Yates smashes record, Sheridan shines in Coromandel
Jeremy Yates smashed his own race record to dominate the Roadcraft K2 road race on the Coromandel today. The Hawkes Bay rider extended his lead in BikeNZ's National Points Series winning in a superb 5.02.34 for the gruelling 192 km race that circumnavigated the Coromandel from Tairua.
It is Yates' fifth win of the season following on from last week's victory in the national club championship, and his third win in a row in the national championship. Auckland's Karl Murray was in second place more than three minutes behind with young Taranaki rider Tom Findlay breaking clear of the select peloton to grab third15 minutes behind the winner.
Nelson's Serena Sheridan dominated the women's Orca K1 to continue her outstanding run of form. Sheridan cleared out from Nelson club mate Jeannie Kuhajek, who was dropped on the final climb on the Kopu-Hikuai, going on to win comfortably for her third win in a row and extend her lead in the national series.
Yates was surprised when Murray attacked from the get-go in Tairua, bearing in mind the leading riders will compete in the Tour of Southland starting on Monday.
"This is fantastic," Yates said. "I couldn't think of anything better. It's win number five for me. All-round an awesome event today. The race didn't go quite to my liking. Karl Murray went straight out. With the Tour of Southland next week it was always going to be a bit of a mission to do the same but I had to follow after him.
"The bunch weren't interested, whether they were intimidated by the distance or the hilly nature of the course and so Ben Evans joined us and we worked together," he added.
Evans crashed in the climb before Coromandel Town and could not get back on, leaving Murray and Yates to continue their charge. Yates made his move on the final climb over the Kopu-Hikuai to charge to the line, taking 12 minutes off the record he set last year.
"I love coming to this race," said Yates who was uncertain how his form would hold up in the Tour of Southland. "They do a great job and I enjoy it.
"I work fulltime and so I enjoy these one-day events," he added. "The Tours like next week tend to favour the riders who do this for their living and have a bit more background for it."
Yates has now extended his lead in the National Point Series to 120 points from Murray with Findlay moving into third place.
The women's race followed a similar story with five riders breaking clear soon after the start of the 100km in Coromandel Town.
The group gradually whittled away on the climbs until Sheridan was left with Kuhajek who was dropped on the final climb on the Kopu-Hikuai. Sheridan finished more than four minutes clear in 2.54.31 with Kuhajek caught by chasers Kaytee Boyd (Auckland) and Emma Crum (Kapiti) but managed to hold them off in the sprint to the line.
"I'm totally stoked with the win," Sheridan said. "Because we were away on our own it was good motivation catching and passing others in the K2 race.
"I had a slow start to the season because of tonsillitis but since my operation to have them out I have felt so much better," she added.
Sheridan increases her lead in the BikeNZ National Point Series to a telling 190 points on her nearest rival. She is aiming at further rounds in the series, the Tour de Femme and Tour de Vineyards in Nelson in the New Year, and to a potential pro contract in the US next year. She is also keen to push her claims to join the burgeoning women's track programme with the London Olympics in mind.
Pam Hewlett was the fastest of the women's over the 192km K2 distance from Hannah Thorne. Linda Craig took out the women's honours for the Quarter K over 50km from Thames to Tairua with 15-year-old Andrew Ranford (Auckland) taking the men's race in a slick 1:22.53.
There were approximately 1500 participants over the three races including relay teams.
Roadcraft K2 - 192 km Men 1 Jeremy Yates (Hawkes Bay) 5.02.34 2 Karl Murray (Counties Manukau) 3.21 3 Tom Findlay (New Plymouth) 14.33 4 Chris Macic (Auckland) 14.57 5 Justin Kerr (Tokoroa) 16.08 Women 1 Pam Hewlett (Auckland) 6.10.58 2 Hannah Thorne (Dunedin) 7.49 3 Candice Hammond (Cambridge) 8.00 Orca K1 Elite women 1 Serena Sheridan (Nelson) 2.54.31 2 Jeannie Kuhajek (Nelson) 4.19 3 Kaytee Boyd (Auckland) 4 Emma Crum (Kapiti) 4.20 5 Roz Reekie-May (Morrinsville) 4.38 Men 1 Aaron Strong (Counties Manukau) 2.32.45 2 Hamish Elley-Brown (Auckland) 12.05 3 Geoff McDowell (Rotorua) 12.06 Women 1 Toni Bradshaw (Auckland) 2.55.36 2 Philippa MacDonald (Auckland) 10.25 3 Marion Webb (Counties Manukau) 12.31 Quarter K - 50 km Female 1 Linda Craig (Auckland) 1.37.48 2 Liz Nelson (Auckland) 0.22 3 Jo Donnelly (Thames) 5.32 Male 1 Andrew Ranford (Auckland) 1.22.53 2 Alex Heaney (Te Awamutu) 3.27 3 Jonathan Laycock (Auckland) 8.28