Buchanan claims record fourth New Zealand road title
Rushlee Buchanan (UnitedHealthcare) took a record fourth New Zealand road title Saturday in Napier, out-kicking fellow Rio Olympic track rider Georgia Williams and triathlete-turned-cyclist Kate McIlroy to move one title ahead of Cath Cheatley and Melissa Holt.
"I knew I wasn’t the best climber out there and had to save my energy when I could and dig very, very deep when Kate and Georgia were putting the hammer down," Buchanan said. "I backed myself for the sprint finish. I knew I had the better jump and that played into my hands.
"It has not sunk in yet, but to win the 2017 national championship is awesome. Number four is pretty amazing to put myself in the history books. For me I just want to represent the jersey well on the international stage and do the New Zealand proud the whole year.”
Buchanan also won in 2010, 2014 and 2016.
The women's field at the New Zealand road championships.
LottoNL-Jumbo arrive in Australia
Led by Robert Gesink, LottoNL-Jumbo arrived safely in Australia on Sunday ahead of the upcoming Tour Down Under, the WorldTour opener that starts January 17 in Unley and concludes January 22 in Adelaide. The Australian racing includes the January 15 People's Choice Classic warm-up criterium. The seven-man LottoNL-Jumbo team for the Tour Down Under will also compete in the newly elevated WorldTour one-day Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Geelong on January 29.
Gesink has ridden the Tour Down Under on just one previous occasion, finishing sixth overall, and will be aiming for another high result. He will be joined in the Australian races by Bert-Jan Lindeman, Enrico Battaglin, Alexey Vermeulen, Robert Wagner, Koen Bouwman and Paul Martens.
Cycling Academy signs Olympic mountain biker Shlomi Haimy
Cycling Academy expanded its quiver this week when the Pro Continental team announced the signing of Shlomi Haimy, Israel's top mountain biker. The team previously announced the formation of a development team that consists of four road riders and four mountain bikers. Haimy was Israel's lone cycling representative in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Team founder Ron Baron has supported Haimy personally, but this week's announcement makes Haimy an official part of the team. Haimy represented Israel at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, and placed 18th at the men's cross country competition with a time of 1:49:18, eight minutes behind the winner Nino Schurter, of Switzerland. In Rio, Haimy suffered a punctured tire and eventually finished 29th out of 49 riders, 10:02 behind the winner.
Shlomi Haimy competes in the Baku 2015 European Games.