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Field claims title

Overall winner Rylee Field being congratulated by his teammate Jensen Plowright on Saturday. PHOTOS/DAVE LINTOTT

Kennett positioned well for stage

TRUST HOUSE NZ CYCLE CLASSIC

Australian Rylee Field [Team BridgeLane] won the 2020 New Zealand Cycle Classic title and was awarded the yellow jersey in Masterton on Sunday.

On general classification, Field went into Sunday’s 120km stage with a 26-second advantage over Black Spoke’s Aaron Gate after his outstanding solo performance up Admiral Hill on Saturday. The time gap, coupled with a strong ride on Sunday, in which he finished 19th over the line, enabled him to retain the jersey.

Field told the large appreciative crowd at the finish line at Mitre 10 Mega Masterton, which included his mother Kym-Maree, that his team had come together well and raced for each other all week. This was reflected in the fact that BridgeLane had featured on the podium every day of the tour and the strong team camaraderie was evident at the end of each stage.

Dylan Kennett [St George Continental] won the fifth and final stage on Sunday after a sprint finish over Jensen Plowright [BridgeLane].

In a day where points mattered, especially in the sprints classification, racing began early.

Within minutes, a breakaway of five riders including Gate, Field, Team Sapura’s Marcus Culey, KINAN’s Hiroshi Tsubaki and Capjaks Castelli’s Logan Griffin went off the front of the peloton before being caught a short time later.

Culey then did an amazing solo ride heading into lap three of the flat, 12-lap circuit and at one point had 1min 02 secs over the peloton.

He was chased by a group of 18 riders and at 85km was joined by Black Spoke’s James Oram out in front with the pair hurtling along the country lanes flanked with spectators cheering them on.

They were eventually caught 10km later at which point Gate, Plowright, and Kees Duyvesteyn made an attack off the front of the peloton.

With two laps to go, the group was all together with several riders trying to attack.

Classification jersey winners with New Zealand Cycle Classic race director Jorge Sandoval including overall tour winner Rylee Field in the yellow jersey and holding the winner’s trophy.

But in the final straight, it was St George Continental and Team BridgeLane who positioned themselves to take the stage win.

Kennett told the crowd his team had gone into planning mode the night before.

“We talked about last night and did the maths … we talked about what a fast finish it would be and the boys positioned me well,” he said.

Kennett’s strong performance also saw him awarded the WIZ Wireless Sprints Classification Jersey on a countback from Plowright, whom he praised for his “classy” riding and determination over the five-day tour.

Culey, who was awarded the most aggressive jersey, described his ride as a “good day out” and said it capped off a terrific start to 2020 – coming just a week after he finished third in the Australian cycling championships.

Team New Zealand’s Corbin Strong who crossed the line in third place on Sunday was also awarded the Fagan Motors Under-23 Classificiation Jersey.

He thanked Cycling New Zealand for putting together such a strong team which included world omnium champion Campbell Stewart.

“It was great out there today, the team really gelled well this week,” he said.

New Zealand Cycle Classic race director Jorge Sandoval said the tour was a huge success.

“I was really happy to bring the New Zealand Cycle Classic back to Wairarapa this year,” Sandoval said.

“All the team managers and riders loved their accommodation and the stages and I am very proud of the team I had behind me who helped put on a terrific event that went throughout the entire Wairarapa region.”

The New Zealand Cycle Classic, a five-stage elite international men’s road cycling race was staged in Wairarapa from January 15-19.

The tour is the only Union Cycliste Internationale [UCI] 2.2 sanctioned race to be held in New Zealand in 2020.

This year’s tour was supported by Trust House, WBS, Mobile Communications Service, WIZwireless, Fagan Motors, Mitre 10 Mega Masterton, Cross Country Rentals and Lion Foundation plus the Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa district councils.

Sandoval wanted to thank the Ulysses Motorcycle Club and the New Zealand Police for their support as well as the more than 60 specialised volunteers who carried out a variety of roles from marshalling, setting up the finish line and driving in the convoy.

RESULTS

General classification

Rylee Field, Australia, [BridgeLane] 15hr 18:08, 1; Aaron Gate, NZ, [Black Spoke], at 25 sec, 2; Corbin Strong, NZ, [NZ national team], at 41 sec, 3; Hayden McCormick, NZ, [Black Spoke], at 48 sec, 4; Kees Duyvesteyn, NZ, [BridgeLane], at 49 sec, 5; Connor Brown, NZ, [NZ national team], at 51 sec, 6; James Oram, NZ [Black Spoke], at 51 sec, 7; Thomas Lebas, France, [Kinan Cycling Team], at 55 sec, 8; Danilo Celano, Italy, [Team Sapura Cycling], at 57 sec, 9; Lionel Mawditt, Australia [CycleHouse Racing], at 1:03, 10.

Sprint ace – Dylan Kennett, NZ, [St George Continental], 37 points; Jensen Plowright, Australia, [BridgeLane], 37; Aaron Gate, NZ, [Black Spoke], 23.

KOM – Finn Fisher-Black, NZ, [NZ national team], 16 points; Rylee Field, Australia, [BridgeLane], 10.

Under-23 – Corbin Strong, NZ, [New Zealand National team].

Most aggressive rider – Marcus Culey, Australia, [Team Sapura].

Top team – Black Spoke Cycling Academy, NZ.

Stage Five – 120km – Masterton [Mitre 10 MEGA Circuit]

Dylan Kennett, NZ, [St George Continental], 2hr 41:09 1; Jensen Plowright, Australia, [Team BridgeLane], same time 2; Corbin Strong, NZ, [New Zealand National Team], same time, 3.

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