Nelson Leader : February 21st 2013
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The races will be raced in age groups rather than the usual club grades. There will be an individual time trial this Saturday which heads up 88 Valley and back, starting and finishing at Hunt Tce, and the road champs this Sunday on the Wai-iti/88 Valley loop. Both races start at 1pm. Final summer sprint event The third and final race in Triathlon Nelson's summer sprint series takes place at Rabbit Island at 9am this Sunday. Competitors have the choice of doing a sprint or short course triathlon. There is also a duathlon option. Road runners tackle long course Athletics Nelson's summer road running series continues this Saturday with a race starting from Smugglers Pub and Cafe in Tahunanui. The course, which is longer than usual, covering more than 9km, heads around the perimeter of Nelson Airport before returning along Tahunanui Beach. It starts at 3.45pm for walkers and 4pm for runners. Riders heading overseas Bound for Europe: Nelson cyclists from left, Matt Black, Daniel Ellison and Tom Filmer who left Nelson last week to spend the northern summer competing in France. Photo: COLIN SMITH By PHIL BARNES Arecord number of cyclists from the Tas- man Wheelers are heading overseas this year to take up professional or semi- professional contracts. Tom Filmer, Matt Black, Daniel Ellison, Sean Hamb- rook and Jack Bauer have already left for Europe, Jean- nie Kuhajek left for the United States last Sunday, while Kieran Hambrook, Tom Ashley and George Bennett leave within the next two weeks. Committee member Jill Ell- ison said the club, which has about 190 members, was get- ting a good reputation over- seas. The fact so many cyclists were getting contracts was probably a reflection of the high-standard of A-grade races in which riders were able to take part, she said. Experienced riders like Chris Nicholson and Robin Reid have been wonderful mentors to these young guys and the fact they are able to ride in events like the Bench- mark series and Tour de Vineyards has been a huge benefit. Once George Bennett went overseas and did so well, some of the other young guys thought maybe I can do the same' and why not?'' Tom, 20, who heads to Belgium next week for his sec- ond season with Cycling Team Tamacc, agreed. We have had a few strong guys who have paved the way. They got contacts and were able to recommend others and as New Zealanders, we are getting a good reputation as hard-working cyclists.'' Tom first competed over- seas when, as an 18-year-old, he travelled alone to the United States and spent three months based in Pennsy- lvania. He will race both open and under-23 grade races in Belgium, France and Holland for the next seven months. Kieran, 22, also leaves for Belgium next week and will be part of T Palm Continental Wallon -- a team of largely under-23 riders who are one tier below the professional world tour teams. It is Kieran's fourth season in Europe and he said the club paid for accommodation but otherwise he had to get by on winnings from prizemoney and club bonuses. This year our team is eli- gible to get a lot of race starts and that's good for riders like me as we can get results on the board and hopefully get picked up by a pro tour team.'' Kieran said people asked why he risked going to Europe for several months and having to cut into his savings to live there. But you only need one good season and you could be picked up by a pro team and earn a really good salary.'' Kieran's younger brother Sean has already been back in France for three weeks where he is racing with the Sojasun Espoir Club. He had a really good junior season last year and this is his first season out of the junior ranks,'' Kieran said. George, 22, will return to his base with the Radioshack Leopard Trek team in Gerona, Spain, in two weeks. Fellow club member Jack Bauer, originally from Golden Bay, is also based in Gerona where he rides for Garmin Sharp. George said Radioshack had allowed him to stay in Nelson later than usual so he could have a break after taking part in last month's Tour Down Under. In the last year George has competed all around Europe as well as in the Unites States, Canada, China, Australia and New Zealand. George said he particularly liked doing long distance endurance stages where there was climbing involved. Last season I got a lot of starts in races I wanted to do so I was pleased with the way it went.'' He has already been chosen to go to a high altitude train- ing camp to prepare for the Giro d'Italia in May. Tom Filmer, Matt Black and Daniel Ellison left last week for the Morteau club in France. It is Matt and Daniel's first European season but Tom raced overseas last year with the New Zealand mountain bike squad. George (2009), Kieran (2010), and Sean (2012) all started their Euro- pean ventures with the Mor- teau club. Wakefield-based cyclist Jeannie Kuhajek will join the Vanderkitten team in the United States. Jeannie, who is originally from the United States, spent three months racing there in the last north- ern summer.
February 14th 2013
February 28th 2013