Bauer blasts to national title

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.

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1Jack Bauer (Nzl) Wgtn4:48:42
2Hayden Roulston (Nzl) MscRow 1 - Cell 2
3Julian Dean (Nzl) WbpRow 2 - Cell 2
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) AukRow 8 - Cell 2
10Justin Kerr (Nzl) WbpRow 9 - Cell 2
11Nicholas Lovegrove (Nzl) SubRow 10 - Cell 2
12Glen Chadwick (Nzl) Ecni0:12:22
13Matthew Gorter (Nzl) Sub0:12:18
14Jeremy Vennell (Nzl) Ecni0:12:33
DNFNico De Jong (Nzl) AukRow 14 - Cell 2
DNFHamish Osborne (Nzl) AukRow 15 - Cell 2
DNFMike Henton (Nzl) AukRow 16 - Cell 2
DNFMatt Robinson (Nzl) WbpRow 17 - Cell 2
DNFKarl Moore (Nzl) WbpRow 18 - Cell 2
DNFClinton Avery (Nzl) WbpRow 19 - Cell 2
DNFGordon Mccauley (Nzl) SubRow 20 - Cell 2
DNFMark Langlands (Nzl) WbpRow 21 - Cell 2
DNFPeter Latham (Nzl) WbpRow 22 - Cell 2
DNFSamuel Horgan (Nzl) SubRow 23 - Cell 2
DNFHayden Godfrey (Nzl) SubRow 24 - Cell 2
DNFJoseph Cooper (Nzl) SubRow 25 - Cell 2
DNFSam Bewley (Nzl) WbpRow 26 - Cell 2
DNFFelix Laufkotter (Nzl) WheelRow 27 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Northey (Nzl) BiciRow 28 - Cell 2
DNFScott Wilder (Nzl) BiciRow 29 - Cell 2
DNFJason Allen (Nzl) TasRow 30 - Cell 2
DNFAndrew Williams (Nzl) BenRow 31 - Cell 2
DNFMarc Ryan (Nzl) MscRow 32 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Naylor (Nzl) WheelRow 33 - Cell 2
DNFAnthony Chapman (Nzl) OtaRow 34 - Cell 2
DNFCaleb Hill (Nzl) WheelRow 35 - Cell 2
DNFJonathan Kalma (Nzl) WheelRow 36 - Cell 2
DNFPaul Odlin (Nzl) CantRow 37 - Cell 2
DNFJames Gibson (Nzl) CantRow 38 - Cell 2
DNFWinston Briggs (Nzl) EcniRow 39 - Cell 2
DNSLogan Hutchings (Nzl) WbpRow 40 - Cell 2
DNSAlex Meenhorst (Nzl) AukRow 41 - Cell 2
DNSCarl Williams (Nzl) BiciRow 42 - Cell 2
DNSJames Early (Nzl) BenRow 43 - Cell 2
DNSBrett Dawber (Nzl) BenRow 44 - Cell 2
DNSMarc Prutton (Nzl) CantRow 45 - Cell 2
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Under-23 road race results
1Tom Findlay (Nzl) Bici4:48:45
2James Williamson (Nzl) Sub0:00:32
3Matt Marshall (Nzl) SthRow 2 - Cell 2
4Michael Vink (Nzl) Sub0:04:56
5Roman Van Uden (Nzl) Bici0:12:15
6Thomas Hubbard (Nzl) CantRow 5 - Cell 2
7Hamish Tomlinson (Nzl) SthRow 6 - Cell 2
8George Bennett (Nzl) WheelRow 7 - Cell 2
9Jesse Sergent (Nzl) WcniRow 8 - Cell 2
10Westley Gough (Nzl) EcniRow 9 - Cell 2
DNFSam Steele (Nzl) CantRow 10 - Cell 2
DNFBrad Carter (Nzl) WbpRow 11 - Cell 2
DNFSimon Finucane (Nzl) WbpRow 12 - Cell 2
DNFWade Mangham (Nzl) WbpRow 13 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Mcgregor (Nzl) OtaRow 14 - Cell 2
DNFShem Rodger (Nzl) WbpRow 15 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Seagar (Nzl) AukRow 16 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Smith (Nzl) AukRow 17 - Cell 2
DNFJoshua Brown (Nzl) WcniRow 18 - Cell 2
DNFRyan Wills (Nzl) SubRow 19 - Cell 2
DNFSam Weston (Nzl) WbpRow 20 - Cell 2
DNFColin Cornberg (Nzl) BiciRow 21 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Ray (Nzl) BiciRow 22 - Cell 2
DNFPatrick Bevan (Nzl) BiciRow 23 - Cell 2
DNFLeon Hextall (Nzl) BenRow 24 - Cell 2
DNFJames Mccoy (Nzl) BenRow 25 - Cell 2
DNFRuaraidh Mcleod (Nzl) CantRow 26 - Cell 2
DNFJason Christie (Nzl) MscRow 27 - Cell 2
DNFTaylor Gunman (Nzl) BiciRow 28 - Cell 2
DNFJeremy Stephens (Nzl) EcniRow 29 - Cell 2
DNFSean Joyce (Nzl) BpnRow 30 - Cell 2
DNFFraser Bermingham (Nzl) BpnRow 31 - Cell 2
DNFPatrick Williamson (Nzl) SthRow 32 - Cell 2
DNFHamish Presbury (Nzl) SthRow 33 - Cell 2
DNFLogan Edgar (Nzl) SthRow 34 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Barry (Nzl) BenRow 35 - Cell 2


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