By Andrew Willmott | Posted: Monday October 16, 2017
As well as the longer twilights and warmer weather to encourage riders out on their bikes there were a lot of events to keep our School cyclists busy during the holidays.
Track taster sessions were again run by Cycling Otago to give new riders a chance to experience riding on a velodrome safely. We have a number of boys riding on the track. Most recently, Ben Hogan competed in the SISS Track Championships, held in Invercargill’s velodrome. He competed in all four events on offer. His best performance a 6th in the U-20 Kierin. Here he finished second to eventual winner, and National rider (former OBHS student), Ewan Syme in his heat. Unfortunately, Ronan Geraghty, who has shown rapid improvement in the discipline, was injured in the lead-up and unable to compete.
Junior Tour of Southland
Otago Boys’ High School had three riders participating in this year’s tour; Ben Hogan, Louis Harris and Pablo Paulsen. The race consisted of six stages, including an individual time trial, kermesse, criterium and stage racing. 105 riders rode in this year’s event and the quality of riders was high.
Ben Hogan performed well in the U-20 grade, winning a stage (the inner city criterium) which is a fantastic achievement. Louis Harris was consistently in the top half of the U-17 field and achieved a 6th placing on the 51km road stage. Pablo Paulsen, a tour rookie gained fantastic experience which he has brought back to local racing.
Monday Night Club Racing
Otago Boys’ High School continues to lead in the Schools’ competition with Louis Harris and Ben Hogan (riding in Category 1, the highest grade possible) leading the way. Pablo Paulsen has been making his mark in Category three taking several wins. Jack Divers and Ronan Geraghty have also featured in the points with strong finishes.
Cycling is being well supported by Cycling Otago and, in particular, their Youth Development Academy. The parents of these riders have also made big contributions, from marshalling to photography and being supportive in their sons’ developments within the sport.