Lumsden claims premier title at track carnival
Rising Southland cycling star Tayla Lumsden added another title to her impressive record by winning the premiere race at the ILT New Year Track Carnival at the weekend.
Cycling Southland general manager Mark Hotton said it was thought the handicap open division Wheel Race has been a feature of the annual carnival for more than 40 years.
“We’re not 100 per cent sure but we think Tayla is the first female winner to win the race in its history – she’s certainly the first woman to win it since the indoor velodrome opened 11 years ago.”
It was an all-girl trifecta with Southland riders Erin Criglington finishing second and Emily Paterson third over the field of 24 top riders.
Lumsden said her tactics had been to “follow wheels, go hard, get to the front of the race and stay there”.
She finished second in the race last year and was keen to claim the win this year.
The Cycling NZ Regional Performance Hub rider has put in considerable mileage on the road during the holiday period ahead of the Elite & U19 National Track Championship in Invercargill next month.
“That’s been really important to get that base training under my belt. Now I have to focus on speed and hope that the endurance base is good enough.”
A member of the hub for about 18 months, Lumsden has found the experience “extremely beneficial”.
“It’s given me access to great facilities for training and it’s helped me build and develop a great support crew. The coach [Sid Cumming] has been great and we’ve worked hard to put me in a good position for nationals.
“The goal there is just to ride as hard as I can and do as well as I can.”
Young Southland rider Ronan Shearing won the OJ Henderson Memorial Wheel Race, which has been contested by some of New Zealand’s best U17 riders at the carnival since the mid-1980s. Jonathan Fish (Timaru) was second and Jaz McLeod (Southland) third.
More than 85 riders from around the South Island used the two-day carnival to begin their campaign for the track nationals in Invercargill this year.
Hotton said more than 150 elite & U19 riders and more than 200 U15, U17 and Masters riders were expected to descend on Invercargill for the events in February (Elites & U19) and early March.