Fuller first home from Twizel to Timaru
A transition at the start of the year from triathlons to cycling is paying dividends for Twizel to Timaru winner Ioan Fuller.
The 19-year-old from Dunedin broke away late from the bunch, who were unable to catch him in the 150km race, to earn race honours.
Fuller, one of 70 riders in the field from Christchurch to Invercargill, was chased hard by second placed Bailey O’Donnell, a well-known rider in Aoraki circles but the youngster was unable to reel Fuller in.
Winning the Twizel to Timaru race in his first crack capped off the day in style, Fuller said.
‘‘I had never done this event before. It was my first time racing it so I’m really pleased that I managed to hold off the field and win.’’
He was in the break group, which had a six minute head start on the scratch bunch that contained some of the race favourites.
‘‘They caught us about Pleasant Point but me and my team-mate Nick Ross worked really well together and managed to get another bit of a break going and while they caught him, they didn’t have the legs to get me.
The cancellation a fortnight ago of the Nelson round in the Calder Stewart Series prompted Fuller to give the Twizel to Timaru race a nudge.
‘‘I was in need of a decent race and since Nelson didn’t happen and people recommended this race, so I decided to come up and give it a crack.’’
Fuller said he would happily come back and race again. ‘‘I think I have to now I’ve won the event.’’ With triathlon not working out, he always enjoyed cycling so decided to give it more of a go.
‘‘I have always enjoyed it and thought let’s see what I can do with it.’’
Timaru’s Chris Karton bagged the fastest time, coming home in a tick over three hours and 19 minutes, which also grabbed third place.
Karton’s sister, Amy Hollamby, was the fastest women home to complete a family double.
Cycling Timaru president Darren Cuthbertson said it was a quality race. ‘‘We’re incredibly thankful that the weather held out and that there was very little wind around.’’
He was pleased with how the race panned out.
‘‘The scratch group caught the main bunch just before Pleasant Point, which set up an exciting finish and then Ioan [Fuller] was able to sneak away late and grab the win.’’
Cuthbertson was pleased with how the overall event ran.
‘‘It went really well. We had a number of out of town competitors say they really enjoyed it and would be back.’’
James Ryder leads the second limit bunch past Lake Pukaki during the 150-kilometre 2017 Twizel to Timaru cycle race.