Otago is pinning its hopes on two of its Commonwealth Games riders to take the senior titles at the 2006 Lion Foundation National Road Championships this weekend in Palmerston (Otago). Alison Shanks and Greg Henderson are local favourites to do well in the elite road races, with the elite women's race at 3pm Saturday afternoon, and the men's at 9.45am Sunday morning.
Greg Henderson is making a fleeting visit to Europe this week to sign his contract with T-Mobile, before returning to New Zealand on Friday, 48 hours before the men's 183km national road championship race begins. Henderson did not compete in the 2005 national championships so will be hoping for a quick recovery from the demanding travel schedule to perform well in front of a home crowd.
From the estimated 420 riders entered other big names include the teams pursuit medalists from the 2005 and 2006 junior track world championships, Melbourne silver medal winner Hayden Roulston, experienced campaigner Fraser Macmaster, 2005 men’s time trial national champion Robin Reid and 2006 World Championship and Commonwealth Games representative Logan Hutchings.
The National Road championships begin on Thursday, October 19, with the time trial championships, with the road races taking place from Friday to Sunday.