Gordon new King of the Mountains

'Finishing 10th and being the national KOM champ was a successful day.'

'Finishing 10th and being the national KOM champ was a successful day.'

Callum Gordon
Callum Gordon

GISBORNE cyclist Callum Gordon was “super-stoked” with his 10th-place finish and the King of the Mountains (KOM) title in the Elite and U23 Road National Championships in Napier.

“It’s the first time I’ve raced in the elite division and the first time I’ve finished this race (169 kilometres) after four attempts,” 22-year-old Gordon said.

“For the first 30 minutes of the race I wanted to be up the front getting in the moves.

“But nothing really stuck until I made a bold move, going solo at the top of Apley Road, hoping I would be joined by some equally enthusiastic riders.

“Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long before I was joined by Matt Zenovich just before I snagged my first KOM of the day.

“Soon after we were joined by three riders — Dion Smith (2016 rider of the year), Frank Sutton and Michael Torckler — to form a strong five-man group.

“About halfway into town a further six riders made the move across to us. After the laps out in the country we made our way on to the town course, where the pace started to heat up.

“With two laps down out of eight we were joined by a strong group. As the laps went by, more and more people started to drop off the back as the race got closer to finishing.

Struggle on the climb

“On the second-last lap I was really struggling up the climb, losing ground to the front riders. I was pushing myself far into the pain barrier to the point of starting to see stars.

“I couldn’t hold that for too much longer and I had to ride myself to 10th place. Riding to the finish I was still super-stoked with how I had performed.

“Finishing 10th and being the national KOM champ was a successful day.”

Gordon went into this race — the first of four races in January — confident, having recovered from food poisoning after a tour victory in China last year.

Wellington’s Joe Cooper was the overall elite winner in four hours 14 minutes 14 seconds. Gordon finished eight minutes behind.

Making the move

The 31-year-old Cooper made his move on the last of eight ascents and held on over the nine-kilometre flat lap to claim his second national road race title.

Hawke’s Bay’s Regan Gough recovered from a late puncture to outsprint Auckland’s James Fouche on the line for the u23 honours.

Gordon’s next event is the three-day 270km Hub Tour around Hawke’s Bay from January 13 to 15.

That is followed by the New Zealand Cycle Classic — a five-stage Masterton-based tour totalling nearly 670 kilometres from January 22 to 26.

Gordon, who races for the Skoda team, will complete a gruelling month with The Team Championship in Cambridge on January 29.

This year will also feature more overseas experience, including a return to China to defend his Tour of Salimu Lake title.

GISBORNE cyclist Callum Gordon was “super-stoked” with his 10th-place finish and the King of the Mountains (KOM) title in the Elite and U23 Road National Championships in Napier.

“It’s the first time I’ve raced in the elite division and the first time I’ve finished this race (169 kilometres) after four attempts,” 22-year-old Gordon said.

“For the first 30 minutes of the race I wanted to be up the front getting in the moves.

“But nothing really stuck until I made a bold move, going solo at the top of Apley Road, hoping I would be joined by some equally enthusiastic riders.

“Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long before I was joined by Matt Zenovich just before I snagged my first KOM of the day.

“Soon after we were joined by three riders — Dion Smith (2016 rider of the year), Frank Sutton and Michael Torckler — to form a strong five-man group.

“About halfway into town a further six riders made the move across to us. After the laps out in the country we made our way on to the town course, where the pace started to heat up.

“With two laps down out of eight we were joined by a strong group. As the laps went by, more and more people started to drop off the back as the race got closer to finishing.

Struggle on the climb

“On the second-last lap I was really struggling up the climb, losing ground to the front riders. I was pushing myself far into the pain barrier to the point of starting to see stars.

“I couldn’t hold that for too much longer and I had to ride myself to 10th place. Riding to the finish I was still super-stoked with how I had performed.

“Finishing 10th and being the national KOM champ was a successful day.”

Gordon went into this race — the first of four races in January — confident, having recovered from food poisoning after a tour victory in China last year.

Wellington’s Joe Cooper was the overall elite winner in four hours 14 minutes 14 seconds. Gordon finished eight minutes behind.

Making the move

The 31-year-old Cooper made his move on the last of eight ascents and held on over the nine-kilometre flat lap to claim his second national road race title.

Hawke’s Bay’s Regan Gough recovered from a late puncture to outsprint Auckland’s James Fouche on the line for the u23 honours.

Gordon’s next event is the three-day 270km Hub Tour around Hawke’s Bay from January 13 to 15.

That is followed by the New Zealand Cycle Classic — a five-stage Masterton-based tour totalling nearly 670 kilometres from January 22 to 26.

Gordon, who races for the Skoda team, will complete a gruelling month with The Team Championship in Cambridge on January 29.

This year will also feature more overseas experience, including a return to China to defend his Tour of Salimu Lake title.

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