Ash­hurst bik­ing teen Ba­hamas bound

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING - KAROLINE TUCKEY

An Ash­hurst teen is bound for the Ba­hamas to com­pete against some of the best young cy­clists in the world.

Dy­lan Simp­son, 16, says he’s ex­cited to be headed to the Caribbean for the Youth Com­mon­weath Games in July, and is do­ing his best to pre­pare for the high tem­per­a­tures.

‘‘I’m sort of used to Palmy weather, but I’m ex­pect­ing 31 de­grees and hu­mid, and the in­door velo­drome is hot­ter.

‘‘We’re go­ing to do some in­door ses­sions with the heat on.’’

He has been cy­cling since he was in pri­mary school, when he fol­lowed his older brother’s lead into the sport.

‘‘I’ll be do­ing a time trial, that’s nine kilo­me­tres, and road race, which is 65km.

‘‘The dis­tances are a bit shorter than usual, which will mean the rac­ing’s harder and faster, which I’m look­ing for­ward to.

‘‘It’ll be my first in­ter­na­tional race out­side Aus­trala­sia. I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to see­ing how the dif­fer­ent types of rid­ers from around the place ride.’’

Se­lec­tion for the games was made based on times at past events.

Last year, Simp­son, who goes to Palmer­ston North Boys’ High and rides for their school team as well as the BikeBox Rental Manawatu team, won gold in the u17 boys’ Scratch Race.

He was also part of the West Coast North Is­land u17 pur­suit team that placed sec­ond at the age group Track Na­tional Cham­pi­onships.

At the age group Road Na­tional Cham­pi­onships, he took the u17 gold, and was part of the win­ning u20 boys’ time trial team at the New Zealand Sec­ondary Schools Road Cy­cling Cham­pi­onships.

He also won the 2016 West Coast North Is­land Cham­pi­onships u17 road race and in­di­vid­ual time trial.

In May this year he claimed bronze at the u19 boys’ age group Road Na­tional Cham­pi­onships.

‘‘The last year’s been pretty good, I’ve been pretty happy and re­sults I’ve had have been bet­ter than ex­pected,’’ he said.

Rac­ing gives him some­thing to fo­cus on, and work to­ward.

‘‘On a de­scent, you can get to speeds any­where from 80 to 85km an hour. It’s ex­cit­ing.

‘‘I just en­joy how hard it is and know­ing that ev­ery­one else is hurt­ing and how much re­ward you get out of work­ing hard.’’

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Dy­lan Simp­son’s cy­cling suc­cess last year is about to take him to the Youth Com­mon­wealth Games in the Ba­hamas.

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