A clutch of the New Zealand's top domestic-based road cyclists will battle it out at the Pro-Velo Auckland 1000, the opening race in BikeNZ's National Road Race Points series at Karaka on Sunday. Gordon McCauley and Jason Allen, who rode on the same pro-team in England last year will be the mainland's top representatives, while North Island honours are likely to be upheld by Aaron Strong, Karl Murray and Jeremy Yates.
McCauley, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist in the time trial at Melbourne two and a half years ago won the inaugural Auckland 1000 in 2005 and is a multi-time national champion. Allen, who was on the final short list for the Olympics track squad, also rode at Melbourne and while he is better known as a trackie, will be one rider to watch if the 125km race comes down to a bunch sprint. Murray won the race two years ago while former junior road world champion Yates won both the Auckland and Club national titles last year. Meshy Holt of Te Awamutu, time trial and road national champion, is the hot favourite for the 78km women's event.
This is the first of 11 rounds in the New Zealand national series which will finish in April of 2009.