Gaze grabs second win at nationals

Sam Gaze (right) in the lead pack with Sam Dobbs and Campbell Stewart, on his way to winning the Criterium national title. Photo – Scotty T Photography.

Cambridge mountain biker Sam Gaze defended his road honours at the Criterium National Championships over the weekend with a stunning performance around the streets of Takapuna.

The double under-23 world champion pushed clear for a solo attack early in the 45-minute event before young guns Campbell Stewart and Sam Dobbs joined him, the trio building an unassailable 25 second lead over a talented field strewn around the 2km circuit.

Dobbs, a former St Peter’s student who recently joined the Cycling New Zealand track programme, took the first tilt at a break but in the end Gaze, fresh off third place in the Tour of Southland, held off Stewart, the Commonwealth Games medallist.

“It’s surprising because I’ve only been back in training four weeks including a lap of the South and I wasn’t expecting too much. But it’s good when the legs turn out well and I love racing in front of so many fans here in Takapuna,” Gaze said following his win on Sunday. “With the performance in Southland and now this, I am perfectly on track. Things are looking better than I could have hoped. My coach may not be so happy that I went so hard today but it’s impossible to sit back when you can race in an event like this here in Takapuna.”

Track cyclist Raquel Sheath overcome a packed field in the sprint finish to grab her second elite women’s title, after a few other locally-based Cycling NZ team members battled for the lead. Holly Edmondston held a six-second lead from mid-race for about ten minutes before Bryony Botha moved into the first-place position at the final eight-minute mark, followed by Michaela Drummond taking a 12 second lead in the final lap, caught only 50 metres from the finish with Sheath timing her sprint perfectly to edge out her rivals. She finished ahead of Performance Hub rider Georgia Danford and Canterbury’s Sharlotte Lucas to claim the honours.

Racquel Sheath being interviewed after her win at the Criterium National Championships in Takapuna. Photo – Scotty T Photography.

More Recent Sports

Basketballers back from Greece

The St Peter’s Premier Girls basketball team have returned from the ISF World Championships in Greece ranked fifth in the world. The team, which was the first female team to represent New Zealand at the…

Lily’s in eleventh heaven…

Lily Greenough decided what her older brothers could do, she could do. Her Cambridge brothers Jack and Bennett Greenough made the Mighty 11 New Zealand BMX team when they were 11 – prompting Lily to…

Maunga Mission multisport race sure to challenge

Conquering mountains is both a figurative and literal reality of taking on the Maunga Mission in Cambridge later this month. In addition to conquering the goals and challenges of taking part in a multisport race,…

First loss sees Reds slip to third place on ladder

Cambridge have slipped to third place in football’s Northern League second division after the Reds lost their unbeaten run in the competition. The Reds lost 2-1 to league newcomers Unimount Bohemian Celtic but showed tremendous…