Bauer blasts to national title

Roulston and Dean upstaged, complete podium

Wellington rider Jack Bauer snatched a thrilling victory from two major stars of New Zealand cycling in a sprint finish at the 2010 RaboPlus national road race in Christchurch on Sunday.

A huge crowd saw the 24-year-old Bauer clinch his first national road title ahead of pre-race favourites Hayden Roulston (Ashburton) and five-time Tour de France competitor Julian Dean (Rotorua). All three riders finished on the same time of 4:48:42.

It was a spectacular finish to a gruelling event that saw competitors face 13 laps and 186 kilometres, over the same course used for the 1974 Commonwealth Games.

Alongside the sprint finish, the other major highlight was the performance of 18-year-old Christchurch rider Michael Vink, who made a break on just the second lap and remained clear until the final circuit.

A group that included Roulston and Dean, who were on each other's wheels for much of the second half of the race, finally reined in the teenager who eventually finished ninth overall and fourth in the under-23 battle.

Bauer, the Tour of Southland runner-up and an eight-time winner in Belgium last year, said the title and the chance to take the coveted black jersey to his new Endura Pro Continental team in the United Kingdom was "a dream come true".

"I didn't really think I had the legs to last out there today but I managed to go with Roulston and Dean when they attacked on the hill and when we got down to a bunch of four on the last leg I hung in. It was a quality field so I'm stoked."

Roulston, who turned 29 today, said he was disappointed to miss out on the title. "I rode a pretty good race but you are limited in what you can do on your own," he said.

Dean, a strong sprinter, said he had suffered cramp on the push to the line. "I wasn't really confident about my race condition because I've just had a month off. But I got cramp in that final 150 metres, otherwise, I believe I could have got up to win."

Conditions were perfect for most of the race - mild and calm, in comparison with the strong winds that tested the women's field yesterday. However, the steep climb up Dyers Pass Rd in Cashmere soon saw the 85-strong field separated. On the second lap Under-23 time-trial winner Vink made the first significant breakaway along with fellow Christchurch rider Paul Odlin.

Despite having to change bikes and then have a puncture mended, the former Christchurch Boys' High student was the sole leader by the halfway stage and Vink extended his lead to around four minutes before Roulston turned up the pressure on the hill in the ninth lap. Bauer and Dean were among those who followed the double Olympic medallist.

Vink said he planned to make an early break so he could help his strong Subway Avanti team as much as possible.

"I'm really pleased. I thought I ran a good race and to do well here is the ultimate because it's the toughest race in New Zealand. Hopefully, I've put my hand up for Commonwealth Games and World Champs selection later in the year."

Roulston, Dean and five-times winner Gordon McCauley were among those who hailed Vink as a major new talent. "He showed guts, determination and substantial endurance," Dean said.

National time-trial champion and defending champion McCauley withdrew after nine laps saying he "didn't have the legs today".

Tom Findlay from the Bici Vida team won the under-23 title, finishing just three seconds behind the top three elite riders.

1Jack Bauer (Nzl) Wgtn4:48:42 
2Hayden Roulston (Nzl) Msc  
3Julian Dean (Nzl) Wbp  
4Heath Blackgrove (Nzl) Msc0:00:37 
5Jeremy Yates (Nzl) Ecni0:02:20 
6Eric Drower (Nzl) Sub0:07:39 
7Scott Lyttle (Nzl) Ota0:11:00 
8Brett Tivers (Nzl) Wcni0:12:18 
9Aaron Strong (Nzl) Auk  
10Justin Kerr (Nzl) Wbp  
11Nicholas Lovegrove (Nzl) Sub  
12Glen Chadwick (Nzl) Ecni0:12:22 
13Matthew Gorter (Nzl) Sub0:12:18 
14Jeremy Vennell (Nzl) Ecni0:12:33 
DNFNico De Jong (Nzl) Auk  
DNFHamish Osborne (Nzl) Auk  
DNFMike Henton (Nzl) Auk  
DNFMatt Robinson (Nzl) Wbp  
DNFKarl Moore (Nzl) Wbp  
DNFClinton Avery (Nzl) Wbp  
DNFGordon Mccauley (Nzl) Sub  
DNFMark Langlands (Nzl) Wbp  
DNFPeter Latham (Nzl) Wbp  
DNFSamuel Horgan (Nzl) Sub  
DNFHayden Godfrey (Nzl) Sub  
DNFJoseph Cooper (Nzl) Sub  
DNFSam Bewley (Nzl) Wbp  
DNFFelix Laufkotter (Nzl) Wheel  
DNFMichael Northey (Nzl) Bici  
DNFScott Wilder (Nzl) Bici  
DNFJason Allen (Nzl) Tas  
DNFAndrew Williams (Nzl) Ben  
DNFMarc Ryan (Nzl) Msc  
DNFMichael Naylor (Nzl) Wheel  
DNFAnthony Chapman (Nzl) Ota  
DNFCaleb Hill (Nzl) Wheel  
DNFJonathan Kalma (Nzl) Wheel  
DNFPaul Odlin (Nzl) Cant  
DNFJames Gibson (Nzl) Cant  
DNFWinston Briggs (Nzl) Ecni  
DNSLogan Hutchings (Nzl) Wbp  
DNSAlex Meenhorst (Nzl) Auk  
DNSCarl Williams (Nzl) Bici  
DNSJames Early (Nzl) Ben  
DNSBrett Dawber (Nzl) Ben  
DNSMarc Prutton (Nzl) Cant  
Under-23 road race results
1Tom Findlay (Nzl) Bici4:48:45 
2James Williamson (Nzl) Sub0:00:32 
3Matt Marshall (Nzl) Sth  
4Michael Vink (Nzl) Sub0:04:56 
5Roman Van Uden (Nzl) Bici0:12:15 
6Thomas Hubbard (Nzl) Cant  
7Hamish Tomlinson (Nzl) Sth  
8George Bennett (Nzl) Wheel  
9Jesse Sergent (Nzl) Wcni  
10Westley Gough (Nzl) Ecni  
DNFSam Steele (Nzl) Cant  
DNFBrad Carter (Nzl) Wbp  
DNFSimon Finucane (Nzl) Wbp  
DNFWade Mangham (Nzl) Wbp  
DNFAlex Mcgregor (Nzl) Ota  
DNFShem Rodger (Nzl) Wbp  
DNFDaniel Seagar (Nzl) Auk  
DNFDaniel Smith (Nzl) Auk  
DNFJoshua Brown (Nzl) Wcni  
DNFRyan Wills (Nzl) Sub  
DNFSam Weston (Nzl) Wbp  
DNFColin Cornberg (Nzl) Bici  
DNFAlex Ray (Nzl) Bici  
DNFPatrick Bevan (Nzl) Bici  
DNFLeon Hextall (Nzl) Ben  
DNFJames Mccoy (Nzl) Ben  
DNFRuaraidh Mcleod (Nzl) Cant  
DNFJason Christie (Nzl) Msc  
DNFTaylor Gunman (Nzl) Bici  
DNFJeremy Stephens (Nzl) Ecni  
DNFSean Joyce (Nzl) Bpn  
DNFFraser Bermingham (Nzl) Bpn  
DNFPatrick Williamson (Nzl) Sth  
DNFHamish Presbury (Nzl) Sth  
DNFLogan Edgar (Nzl) Sth  
DNFDaniel Barry (Nzl) Ben  


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