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Saint Kentigern College’s Ruby Spring made an impressive start to the school road cycling season, claiming both the Southern Tour and Northern Tour under-15 girls road titles over consecutive weekends.

Over 600 students contested the Cycling New Zealand Schools Southern and Northern Tours, the largest number of riders ever to compete at these events.

The Southern Tour, organised by Cycling Marlborough and presented by Cuddon Engineering, took place in Blenheim from 31 August-1 September, while the Northern Tour, organised by Cycling New Zealand and presented by ICON, a division of BJ Ball, was held in Auckland from 7-8 September. Both events included an individual time trial, hill climb and criterium, with the Southern Tour having an additional road race.

Almost 300 intermediate and secondary schools affiliate to the Cycling New Zealand Schools programme with around 3,570 students competing over 11 events last year across all cycling codes.

Southern Tour

Over 160 riders travelled from as far north as Auckland, and as far south as Wanaka to compete in the Southern Tour, and contest the national hill climb and individual time trial titles for the first time.

The general classification spoils were shared across 10 different schools, with only Christchurch Boys High School and Bluestone School taking two titles each.

Christchurch Boys’ Michiel van Heyningen took out the under-17 boys sprint ace, king of the mountain and overall title in a slick and convincing performance, while teammates Josh Rivett, Laurence Pithie and Griffyn Spencer made it a CBHS podium trifecta in the under-20 boys. Double junior track world champion Pithie was pipped by Rivett for the GC honours after claiming the sprint ace and king of the mountain jerseys.

Bluestone School had a successful day in the under-14 grade with Noah Hollamby and Emily Toomey taking the boys and girls titles.

Rolleston College’s Nick Rush and Saint Kentigern’s Ruby Spring were the only two riders to defend their 2018 titles, doing so in impressive fashion, with both riders also collecting the sprint ace and king/queen of the mountain jerseys on their way to the top of the podium.

In the girls racing, Henrietta Christie (Lincoln), Prudence Fowler (Auckland Diocesan) and Amelia Sykes (Avonside Girls), all members of the Cycling New Zealand Subway Performance Hub programme, took the honours in the under-20, under-17 and under-16 girls categories. Paraparaumu rider Millie Donald (Kenakena School) took out the under-13 girls.  

Thank you to the Southern Tour’s event partners and sponsors.

Full results are available at www.schoolscycling.nz.

Northern Tour

Almost 500 riders braved the cold, wind and sporadic rain to represent 55 different schools in individual time trial, hill climb and criterium events in Auckland over the weekend.

Defending champion Ruby Spring (Saint Kentigern) took hold of the under-15 girls category from the get-go posting a time of 5:59.12 in the individual time trial to break the previous record set by Auckland Diocesan’s Prudence Fowler. She then took out the hill climb and criterium, fending off the challenge from second placed Seana Gray (Cambridge High).

The other record breaking performance from the weekend went to Jack Carswell (Cambridge High), who went under Mitchelton-SCOTT stagiare James Fouche’s 2014 under-17 boys individual time trial time by 4.5 seconds. Carswell continued to ride well, backing up his under-16 title from 2018 by finishing second in the hill climb by 0.35 of a second, and first in the criterium to win the under-17 boys. 

Other returning champions to retain their titles were Fowler, in the under-17 girls and Xander White (Cambridge High) in the under-20 boys after impressive individual time trial rides which saw them cross the finish line over 20 seconds ahead of the second placed riders.

Cambridge schools secured six of the ten general classification titles, taking victories in the under-13 and under-14 girls, and under-14, under-17 and under-20 boys age groups. Local schools accounted for the rest of the riders on top of the podium with the Hopkinson sisters of Baradene winning the under-16 and under-20 girls, the aforementioned Saint Kentigern and Auckland Diocesan in the under-15 and under-17 girls respectively, Takapuna Grammar in the under-16 boys, and Remuera Intermediate in the under-13 boys.

Thank you to event sponsors ICON, a division of BJ Ball, and Hireace.

Full results are available at www.schoolscycling.nz.

CAPTION: Ruby Spring (St Kentigerns) competes in the criterium in Auckland on her way to taking the under-15 girls Northern Tour title. (Photo credit: Matt Illing).

For further information contact:
Charlotte Pearson
Cycling New Zealand Schools Events Manager
021 292 0563

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