Lucas third in Hokitika Cycling Classic


Sharlotte Lucas, returning to Hokitika as part of the Benchmark Homes team, finished third in the elite women’s section of the Hokitika Cycling Classic, on Saturday.
Christchurch rider Sam Horgan, also Benchmark, won the men’s race.
Horgan rode smartly and says he “sensed the time was right” to bridge across to a dangerous looking break on the first lap of the 135km elite race, and after that it “became a race of attrition”.
Horgan bridged across to the leaders as the riders climbed the Staircase set of hills, at Rimu, for the first time and then settled into his work as the break gained steady time on the chasing peloton.
“We all worked really well together and just kept putting more time into the main peloton. Everyone was contributing; no one was sitting on, and the time gaps just kept going up.”
Horgan attacked on the final climb up the Blur Spur to
whittle the leaders down to four riders.
Seventeen-year-old Adam Bull (Homestyle Team), Ian Smallman (Scotty Brown Vision Systems) and Tim Rush (L and M Racing) combined with him to consolidate their lead.
Over the closing kilometres Smallman attacked several
times but was pulled back and coming out the final corner Horgan timed his sprint well to win in three hours and 15 minutes.
Hayley Mercer (Benchmark) won the women’s 105km race ahead of her breakaway companion Laura Fairweather (Altherm Window Systems), with Lucas third a minute back.