Nelson rider wins winter cycling series

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It wasn’t quite a case of slow and steady wins the race, but Nelson rider Chris Heywood showed that consistency and enthusiasm count when he won the Ray White Winter Road Cycling series A grade title on Saturday.

Chris wasn’t the fastest rider in the 11-race series that concluded with a race around the Hope circuit on Saturday – that honour went to former Olympic road cyclist Robin Reid who won five of the sixes races he contested. Although Chris only had one win in the series, he took the A grade title with 93 points, 25 more than Robin, after racing consistently in the nine rounds he started.

Chris Sharland was third on 61 points, finishing just ahead of Saturday’s winner Hayden Squance on 59.

B grade went down to the wire with Henry Kersten winning three races to finish on 106 points and edge out Brent Sturm on 92. Owen Hoggard won C grade ahead of Mark Goodall while Peter Harris won D grade.

The women’s competition was won by promising Nayland College student Emma Bateup, who is still in her first season of racing. Emma recorded 70 points racing in C grade to head off Jessica Hughes on 70 points and Suzie Wood on 60, with Georgia Cowman fourth and veteran Ann Rigg fifth on 49.

The series was a family affair for many riders with race sponsor Brent Sturm competing against his son Jacob in B grade while his wife Tracey and daughter Sarah contested D grade. Christine van Hoppe and her husband Karl, daughter Karen, son-in-law Dean and granddaughter Shaane also raced in the series, which attracted 125 riders.