You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Big cycling names seek NZ road race title

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/12/2016

Napier will be the stage for a who's who of New Zealand cycling when the men's road race is contested at the national championships.

Four World Tour riders including Jack Bauer will be in a star-studded field which also features leading track performers, mountain biking kingpin Sam Gaze and code-hopping rower Hamish Bond.

Season professional Bauer spearheads the 83-strong field, along with European-based elite professionals Sam Bewley, Shane Archbold and Tom Scully.

There would have been a fifth World Tour rider but Olympian George Bennett has pulled out as he recovers from glandular fever.

There will be considerable interest in the form of Bauer, who has joined the Quick Step-Floors team next year after missing most of the 2016 season with injury.

Pro continental team riders James Oram and Dion Smith have signed up. Smith was runner-up last year behind surprise winner Jason Christie, who is also returning.

Among the track contingent is recent Tour of Southland winner Aaron Gate, along with international-class performers Regan Gough and Alex Frame.

The performance of Bond will be fascinating, with the double Olympic rowing champion devoting 2017 to two wheels. He was eighth overall on the Tour of Southland and notched a dominant win at a recent one-day event.

World under-23 mountain bike world champion Gaze is a proven road performer.

The hilly 169km race will be contested on January 8.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon