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Sharratt and Hamer win in Timaru

Brendon Sharratt and Cathy Hamer took top honors at round two of the New Zealand South Island Cup cross country in Timaru last weekend.

Sharratt put up a strong fight as the lead swapped several times throughout the race. Brad Tilby placed second, stepping up to the podium after his fourth place last week. After leading early on, Ash Hough faded slightly to finish third, keeping a fast-finishing Oliver Whalley at bay in fourth.

In the elite women's race, Cathy Hamer looked assertive from the start, taking a commanding lead early in the race. Erin Greene raced to second while Karen Collins placed third.

Young Anton Cooper, aged 14, proved that the previous week's performance of fifth overall was no coincidence, again crossing the finish line alongside the elite men. Cooper placed first in the Under 17 Men category and an astounding seventh overall.

Cooper races with Team PushBikes led by Richard Allin - PushBikes has two bike shops in Canterbury and supports promising local riders. The shop takes riders around the cross country race series, providing maintenance, coaching and covering costs. "It gives these up and coming riders a chance to excel, and it's great fun," said Allin.

The third and final round in the NZCT South Island Cross Country Cup will be held on Coronet Peak in Queenstown next weekend.

See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the second round of the South Island Cross Country Cup in Timaru.

Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.