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Champion returns to defend title

By:
Monika Prell
Published:
December 19, 2006, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 23:40 BST
Edition:
Latest Edition Cycling News for December 19, 2006

Three of the biggest names in New Zealand cycling have today been confirmed for next month’s Tryst...

Three of the biggest names in New Zealand cycling have today been confirmed for next month’s Tryst House Cycle Classic around Wellington and the Wairarapa. Commonwealth Games medallists Hayden Roulston and Gordon McCauley and legendary coach Ron Cheatley have all announced they will be involved with the Trek-Zookeepers Café Team for the event.

Roulston, who won the 2006 event before going on to grab a silver medal at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March is sure to be one of the front runners for the 2007 event, but he is bound to be pushed all the way by McCauley, who won a bronze medal in Melbourne. Cheatley, who has overseen many New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games cycling campaigns will manage the team.

Roulston defied his doctors to win the New Zealand road title two months ago after being diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition. The 25-year-old claimed he was "100 percent cured" but refused to reveal details of his treatment. Roulston was told by his cardiologist to quit riding after he was diagnosed with the incurable heart disease arhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia.

"I wanted to prove a point and show everyone that I was back," Roulston said after the race.

McCauley, who is a four times New Zealand road champion and current UCI Oceania Champion will be looking to win the tour for the first time. He will also have a point to prove to New Zealand selectors for leaving him out of the Kiwi team to compete in next month’s Tour Down Under in Australia.

McCauley, whose goal is to ride at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, has a long list of wins in his cycling career, in New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Asia and the USA. Known for his aggressive racing style McCauley has always been regarded as a battler but his competitors know "if you give him an inch he’ll take a mile".

Other members of the Trek-Zookeepers Café Team include Marc Ryan. Ryan is a member of the New Zealand track cycling squad and represented his country in the Teams Pursuit event at this year’s World Championships and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. He’s now made his mark on the road racing scene winning this year’s Individual Time Trial and the national Criterium Championship.

19 year old Sam Bewley from Rotorua is another who has made his name on the track. Bewley won Gold at the 2005 World Junior Championships and Silver in the Individual Pursuit. He bases himself in Europe with the New Zealand under 23 team. The final member of the team is 20 year old Matthew Haydock, another excellent track rider in the New Zealand under 23 squad.

Race Director Jorge Sandoval says they'll be the team to watch at criteriums and for the general classification

"With Hayden and Gordon in the team, they have two potential tour winners. Having the top riders of the New Zealand track team to pace them during the stages is a big plus and coupled with their experience they are certain to be dangerous opposition." Sandoval said.

The tour starts on Wednesday January 24th with a Teams Time Trial around Fraser Park in Lower Hutt and finish with the traditional Petone circuit on Sunday 28th at 2pm.

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