Richmond's Christine van Hoppe, centre, on the podium after winning the W70-74 time trial at the World Masters Games in Auckland.

Nelson cyclist wins gold at masters games

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Nelson cyclist Christine van Hoppe is aiming for a double when she lines up in the road race at the World Masters Games in Auckland on Sunday after winning gold in the time trial on the second day of racing.

Christine won the women’s 70-74 category on Sunday, completing the tough 20km course in 35min 24sec. It’s a great result for the Tasman Wheelers cyclist who is competing in the international sporting event for the first time.

“It was a fabulous course, 10km from Auckland waterfront out to St Heliers and 10km back,” Christine says. “There was a head wind going out but it was pretty good coming back.

“I felt reasonably confident but you never know, there were five cyclists in my grade which is actually quite good for my age group. The one who got silver (Patricia Taylor) was 30 seconds down on me and the one who got bronze (Faye Omundsen), I beat her by just over a minute, so they weren’t that far out of it.

“I was pretty stoked, I couldn’t believe that I’d done it. The girls who were on the podium with me were just so lovely, so it was such a happy feeling and environment.”

Christine’s husband Karl was also racing, finishing seventh out of 19 riders in the men’s 70-74 age category.

On Sunday, Christine and Karl  will line up in the road race which Christine says is her stronger event.

“It’s quite a hard circuit, it’s got quite a gnarly hill in it so we’re going to ride it on Tuesday and see how it feels. Road racing is my strongest event, I’m not that great on hills though but I’ve been doing a lot of work for it so hopefully, fingers crossed,” says Christine.

“At least I’ve got a gold now, so that’s quite good, it would be nice to make it a double.”

Nelson’s Shane Blows also won gold racing in the Para 40+ H3 class time trial. Shane recorded a time of 30min 27sec.