As defending champions of the North Island Secondary Schools Championships, and having meticulously prepared for the event, we entered with high expectations.
It all started with the Team Time Trial on Saturday morning. The juniors were off first and rode well with the A’s (Adam Martin, Dylan Simpson, Madi Hartley-Brown, Max Taylor) coming third and the B’s coming in a commendable 10th. The seniors set off about an hour later, the A’s (Campbell Stewart, Robert Stannard, David Martin, Mitchell Kinghorn, Carne Groube) rode empathically to a commanding win despite having one rider(Mitchell Kinghorn) who was sick. The B’s were struck with poor luck, but still managed to get 6th with the odds stacked against them.
The road races started just after lunch with the u14 boys race, Michael Richmond came in with the front group and came 5th. The u15 boys race was also very split up by the finish and Max Taylor came in for 7th. The u16 boys race was a different story as it came down to a sprint finish and Dylan Simpson was our highest finisher in 10th. In the u20 boys race we really showed our dominance with Robert Stannard winning from the breakaway and Hayden Washington-Smith, Campbell Stewart and Jacob Sievwright coming 6th, 7th and 8th respectively.
The next morning the criteriums started with the u14 boys. Michael Richmond opened up an early sprint to come away with silver. In the u15 boys we had Max Taylor come in for 6th and Ethan Craine 10th. In the u16 race Madi Hartley-Brown was involved in a crash in the front group, but we still had Dylan Simpson 4th and Adam Martin 7th. In the u20 boys we were very successful again with Campbell Stewart taking the win and Robert Stannard taking bronze, Carne Groube leading in the bunch taking 4th.
This great set of results placed us as the 2nd overall school, which was disappointing after winning for the past 4 years, but understandable with our complete absence of u17 riders. The track cycling continued on the next day. It was a good learning experience for all the junior riders and it was very promising to see them all make the finals for their events and then see them take 4th in the u17 team sprint and 5th in the u17 team pursuit even though the team was only made up of u15 or u16 riders. The seniors also rode extremely well, winning the team sprint and breaking the North Islands record with 50.65s. The team was Robert Stannard, Carne Groube and Campbell Stewart. They added Andrew McKenzie for the team pursuit which they also won.
The next race was the elimination race, with Campbell taking the win from Robert and Carne who finished 2nd and 3rd. Campbell did the same in the scratch with Carne coming 2nd and Robert won the Points race with Carne coming 2nd again. It was good to see the Palmerston North Boys dominating on the track, Campbell Stewart was awarded the best male track cyclist of the event and we wish him the best of luck at the Junior World Championships in Kazakhstan later this term.