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Putting a massive 1.13 into second-placed Scully, Bevin took a dominant win in the New Zealand time trial championships, his first race for Cannondale; Cooper completed the podium

Photo: Sirotti




08.01.2016 @ 13:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Patrick Bevin has got his WorldTour career off to the best possible as he came out on top in his first race in the Cannondale jersey. At the New Zealand Time Trial Championships, he was in a class of his own, putting 1.13 into Tom Scully (Drapac) and 1.40 into Joseph Cooper (Avanti), thus bringing the black-and-white jersey of New Zealand champion to Europe for his first year the highest level.


It came as no surprise that Patrick Bevin was signed by one of the WorldTour teams for the 2016 season. The Kiwi has been a dominant figure on the Australian domestic circuit for a few years and it was just a matter of time before one of the major teams would give him a chance at the highest level. Cannondale gave him the nod and he will be wearing the green colours in 2016.


Apparently, the move has already paid off for Bevin. Until now, the Kiwi has mainly been known for his sprinting and punchy climbing skills. He has done well in prologues but has never really featured at the pointy end of the longer time trials.


He has already been working on his TT position with the Cannondale team and apparently that work is already having an effect. Today he delivered a dominant performance at the New Zealand Time Trial Championships to claim his first title in the discipline.


Bevin was the penultimate rider to start the race and it soon became clear that he was in a class of his own. At the midpoint of the 40.5km course which consisted of two partly identical circuits, he posted the fastest time of 29.31 which was a massive 45 seconds faster than pre-race favourite Jesse Sergent who had been fastest at that point in his first race for Ag2r. Final starter Joseph Cooper was still in contention as he limited his losses to 25 seconds but it was apparent that it would take a massive turnaround for Bevin to be beaten.


Apparently, Sergent’s morale was dealt a blow as the TT specialist faded dramatically in the second half. At the midpoint, he had been 50 seconds faster than Tom Scully who was an early started and found himself in the hot seat when the late starters arrived but at the finish he had lost it all, coming in a massive 1.02 too late which was ultimately only good enough for sixth. As Sam Horgan and Jason Christie were both off the pace, it was now down to a battle between Bevin and Cooper.


Cooper smashed Scully’s mark when he powered down the finishing straight to stop the clock in 52.20, 1.13 faster than Scully. Like many others, Cooper had faded in the second half and while he was only 25 seconds behind at the midpoint, he had lost 1.40 when he crossed the line, narrowly holding off James Oram in the fight for bronze.


Bevin will have a chance to make the double on Sunday when the road race is held. However, he will have no teammates at his side and will be up against the mighty Avanti team which has strength in numbers and made it a clean sweep of the podium last year.


A hilly course

The 2016 New Zealand Time Trial Championships were held on a new 40.5km course in Napier. The riders would do two laps of two different circuits that included a mix of technical challenges, flat sections and short climbs, making it a route that tested all aspects of time trialling.


The first rider down the ramp on the windy day in Napier was Roger Grierson but it was Scully – the fourth rider to start the race – who was first to reach the finish in a time of 53.33. Morgan Smith slotted into second with 57.28.


Disappointment for Sergent

The second professional rider to reach the finish was ONE’s new signing Dion Smith but he was unable to match Sully’s speed and his time of 55.03 was only good enough for second. However, most had their eyes on Smith’s teammate James Oram who was one of the pre-race favourites and had been 12 seconds faster than Scully at the midpoint. However, he lost lots of time in the second half and his time of 54-14 was 41 seconds too slow and would ultimately be enough for fourth.


Paul Odlin did well to challenge Oram and slotted into third with a time of 54.33 before everybody expected Sergent to smash the best time. The Ag2r rider had been the fastest of the early starters at the midpoint but after a very poor second half – and a 10-second time penalty – he slotted into third, 1.02 off the pace.


Sam Horgan could only manage sixth and so the attention turned to Bevin who had been clearly the fastest at the time check and caught two-minute man Jason Christie. He would stop the clock in 52.20 to take a clear lead and as Cooper could only manage 54.00, he stepped onto the podium as a deserved winner. 



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