First up were the Oceania Championships held in Brisbane on 9-10 April, where Tom contested the individual time trial (ITT) and the road race. Oceania Champs are a great opportunity to test yourself against the best cyclists across Australia and New Zealand. Tom finished a very creditable 5th in the ITT and in the road race over 130km of hilly terrain, he was in the bunch finish which contested the sprint, eventually finishing 6th.
Two weeks later it was the New Zealand Age Group Nationals organised by Cycling NZ, this year held on the West Coast in Hokitika on 22-24 April. The ITT, over 25km came down to a couple of seconds with Tom just being edged out into silver medal spot.
The road race was two days later with Tom determined to get a National jersey. The course was flat which wasn’t best suited to Tom’s riding style however he was hoping for stronger winds to make the race much harder. After 120km and with 17km to go Tom made the break dragging with him one rider. They pulled out a 40-second gap on the rest of the field and then with 3km to go Tom tried to break free. He managed to get a 10-bike length lead which he held right up until 200m to go but was unfortunately out-sprinted on the line. Understandably there were mixed emotions at the end but with two silver medals to take home Tom proved he was the strongest rider overall across the weekend. Tom now stands a very good chance of being selected to represent New Zealand at the World Cycling Champs in late Term 3 in Wollongong.
Meanwhile in the last week of the holidays Tom has departed for Belgium, where he is based, living the dream training and racing across Europe.
Teacher in Charge of Cycling