promo for next weeks race in Cust (Saturday the 5th at 10am)


Aggressive riding by Aucklander Gordon McCauley (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) paid dividends when he won round two of the eight-round Benchmark Homes Tour in Timaru on Sunday.  The Commonwealth Games medalist was the main protagonist of the day along-side last year’s series winner Paul Odlin (Village Cycles) in a race that was non-stop action from start to finish.

A record size field of nearly 120 cyclists that included thirteen teams lined-up for The Cyclery Timaru 120 held over 4 laps of an undulating circuit totalling 135 kilometres.  As soon as the neutralized section was complete, attacks were made with disregard for the distance ahead.  This was the pattern for the first lap before a 14-man group escaped shortly after the first passing of the start-finish line. 

McCauley, team-mate Sam Horgan, and Tom Findlay (Subway Cycling Team) were the last to be included in this group after giving chase to join Odlin; Reon Park and Stephen Elden (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team); James Gibson (Lowe & Associates); Joe Cooper (Subway Cycling Team); Alex McGregor (Cycling Otago); Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team); Chris Nicholson (Star & Garter Wheelers – Tasman); Ashleigh Whitehead and Michael Vink (Delmaine Fine Foods); and Craig Lawn (Scott – Penny Farthing Cycles).

The fourteen riders worked well together quickly building a lead of one minute 12 seconds at the 52km mark.  Shortly after, Barry and Cooper applied pressure on a small rise and skipped clear.  Unfortunately for the duo their chasers were still working well and reeled them in before the half-way mark of the race as the fourteen leaders now led the reduced main field by 2 minutes 43 seconds.  Immediate accelerations by both McCauley and Odlin dislodged Barry and Cooper from the group, and coupled with a crash by Whitehead, the lead group was reduced to eleven.

Lap three saw McCauley and Findlay go clear, and despite sharing the workload evenly, they gained never more than a ten second lead on Odlin and company who lost McGregor, Gibson, and the unlucky Vink who punctured.

The two leaders were recaptured at the close of the lap as the now eight-man lead group began the final 33km circuit with a 5 minute 50 second lead on the peloton.  The odds appeared to be in favour of the teams of Benchmark and Kelford – Reiker who had the numbers advantage of two riders each in the break.  And so it proved despite several more attacks by Odlin, when McCauley and Horgan were able to attack in unison which resulted in McCauley riding clear with less than 10 kilometres to ride. 

The lone leader’s advantage remained at 5 – 10 seconds until he reached the residential streets of Timaru where the gap extended to 20 seconds.  New Zealand cycling’s most prolific winner did not need any more invitation than the gap offered and gallantly held off his pursuers to win his first outing in the orange colours of his new sponsor.

At 13 seconds behind McCauley was former double-Olympian Nicholson who snuck past Horgan on the line as Odlin, Lawn, Findlay, Elden, and Park followed closely behind.

Barry did a fine ride to finish alone 5 minutes 3 seconds down to secure the team prize for the Benchmark Homes Cycling Team.  Nimesha Smith (BikeRIGHT Cycling Team) continued with her good form from last weekend’s Tour of Canterbury to sprint home Cycling Otago’s Sara MacDonald to finish as first woman.

The day’s results produced leader changes in each of the four individual classifications as McCauley took over the series lead from the absent Marc Ryan (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team), whilst Horgan (Under 23), Nicholson (Masters), and Smith (Women) all donned leader jerseys to wear into round three at Cust on April 5th


Benchmark Homes Tour – Sunday, March 16th
‘The Cyclery Timaru 120’ at Timaru

Round One Results (Provisional);

1.                  Gordon McCauley (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) 135km in 3hrs
            22mins 13secs

2.                  Chris Nicholson (Star & Garter Wheelers – Tasman/Master) at 13secs
3.                  Sam Horgan (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team/U23) same time
4.                  Paul Odlin (Village Cycles) st
5.                  Craig Lawn (Scott – Penny Farthing Cycles/Master) st
6.                  Tom Findlay (Subway Cycling Team/U23) st
7.                  Stephen Elden (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) st
8.                  Reon Park (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team/Master) st
9.                  Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team/U23) at 5mins 03secs
10.              James Williamson (Subway Cycling Team/U23) at 6mins 43secs
11.              Anthony Chapman (Lowe & Associates) st
12.              Jack Bauer (Star & Garter Wheelers – Tasman) st
13.              Ashleigh Whitehead (Delmaine Fine Foods) st
14.              Jonathon Gee (BikeRIGHT Cycling Team) st
15.              Brendan Hart (Revolution Properties/Master) st

First Women;
1.                  Nimesha Smith (BikeRIGHT Cycling Team)
2.                  Sara MacDonald (Cycling Otago)
3.                  Katri Laike (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team)

Team Prize;

1.                  Benchmark Homes Cycling Team

Points Standing after Round Two (Provisional);
Gordon McCauley (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) 25 points
Marc Ryan (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) 25 pts
Sam Horgan (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team/U23) 23pts
Chris Nicholson (Star & Garter Wheelers – Tasman/Master) 22pts
Jason Christie (Subway Cycling Team/U23) 22pts
Anthony Chapman (Lowe & Associates) 21pts
Darren Shea (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team/U23) 20pts
Paul Odlin (Village Cycles) 18pts
Shane Melrose (Cycling Otago) 18pts
Craig Lawn (Scott – Penny Farthing Cycles/Master) 16pts
Tom Findlay (Subway Cycling Team/U23) 15pts
Alex Meenhorst (Subway Cycling Team/U23) 14pts
Stephen Elden (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) 12pts
Brian Fowler (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team/Master) 12pts
Reon Park (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team/Master) 10pts
Stuart Lowe (Lowe & Associates/Master) 10pts
Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team/U23) 8pts
Andrew Widdup (Lowe & Associates) 8pts
James Williamson (Subway Cycling Team/U23) 6pts
Jonathon Gee (BikeRIGHT Cycling Team) 6pts
Tim Burtenshaw (Team Bay City/U23) 6pts
Brad McFarlane (Team Thule Cycling/Master) 5pts
Jack Bauer (Star & Garter Wheelers – Tasman) 4pts
Ashleigh Whitehead (Delmaine Fine Foods) 3pts
Andrew Williams (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) 2pts
Brendan Hart (Revolution Properties/Master) 1pt

Women’s Classification;

1.   Nimesha Smith (BikeRIGHT Cycling Team) 11 points
2.   Sara MacDonald (Cycling Otago) 10pts
3.   Tracy Clark (Team Thule Cycling) 10 points
4.   Jeannie Kuhajek (Star & Garter – Tasman) 7pts
5.   Katri Laike (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) 5pts
6.   Laura Thompson (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) 5pts
7.   Annalissa Farrell (Team Thule Cycling) 3pts
8.   Carolyn Jenkins (Cycling Otago) 2pts


Timaru will play host for Round Two of the Benchmark Homes Tour this Sunday.  The Cyclery Timaru 120 will be its third edition and raced on rolling roads around an altered 33km circuit to be completed four times.  The local riders predict the nature of the course will see little or no intact peloton by race end.

Series leader Marc Ryan (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) will be missing from the start line as the Timaru rider will be in France preparing for the World Track Championships later in the month.  Ashburton rider Jason Christie (Subway Cycling Team) will therefore wear the coveted white leader jersey due to his second place position on the points standing.  The 17 year-old produced an outstanding ride in atrocious conditions in Round One and will hope to go one place better to record his first win of the series format.  

Last year’s series winner Paul Odlin (Nelson) will make his first start in the 2008 series following his return from national team duties in Malaysia.  Odlin’s attacking nature on such a course could reap rewards as he tries to recoup lost ground from his late start to the competition.  Like Odlin, the Delmaine pairing of Joseph Chapman and Ashleigh Whitehead return to the series following the Malaysian trip.  Chapman won the inaugural Timaru event and finished third last year.  He and Whitehead will be joined by new Delmaine signing Michael Vink.

Aucklander Gordon McCauley will make his first ever start in the Benchmark series having recently signed with Benchmark Homes Cycling Team for the remainder of the competition.  McCauley will be well suited to such a course and no doubt will look to spark proceedings early.

Other riders likely to feature is last year’s Timaru winner Edward Barrett (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team), and team-mates Sam Horgan and Daniel Barry; James Williamson, Joseph Cooper, and Tom Findlay (Subway Cycling Team); Shane Melrose and Alex McGregor (Cycling Otago); Anthony Chapman, Stuart Lowe, and Lester Settle (Lowe & Associates); Chris Nicholson and Jack Bauer (Star & Garter – Tasman); Jonathon Gee and Brett Dawber (BikeRIGHT Cycling Team); and any one from the in-form Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team namely, Reon Park, Darren Shea, Stephen Elden, Shane Archbold, or Brian Fowler. 

Fowler narrowly leads the Masters Classification from Lowe and Brad McFarlane (Team Thule Cycling) in a competition that is sure to be hotly contested with the likes of Park, Settle, Nicholson, Darrell Kircher (Lowe & Associates), and Neil Sutherland (Team Thule Cycling) all capable of winning the title.

Last year’s Women’s Classification winner Tracy Clark (Team Thule Cycling) will lead that competition going into Round Two ahead of Jeannie Kuhajek (Star & Garter – Tasman) and Laura Thompson (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team).  These three riders will again be in contention to be first woman home on Sunday, however they can expect stiff competition from Josie Giddens and Katri Laike (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team), Sara MacDonald and Kathryn Jones (Cycling Otago), and Nimesha Smith (BikeRIGHT Cycling Team).

The Cyclery Timaru 120 will begin under a neutralized start at 10am from the Old Boys Rugby Clubrooms on Quarry Road and finish on Scenic Reserve Road at approximately 1.15pm.


Here is the full results todate...

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