Joanne Kiesanowski in great form for Games
Fairfax cycling writer Nathan Burdon takes a look at how our professional riders are going overseas.
Christchurch cyclist Joanne Kiesanowski will carry winning form into the Commonwealth Games.
The 35-year-old Team-TIBCO To The Top rider was the strongest in a seven-woman breakaway to take out the UBC Grand Prix, the second event of the nine-race BC Superweek in Vancouver.
Kiesanowski outsprinted a group that included Canadian champion Leah Kirchmann on a criterium course that included short 800m laps and sharp corners.
"I really love technical courses. I grew up riding track, so I love the hairpins, it's like a standing start every time, just like on the track. I was happy when I saw the course, whereas some people might be scared."
Kiesanowski was seventh in the opening time trial of the six-stage Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic, with fellow New Zealander Kate Chilcott (Vanderkitten) 60th.
A three-time Olympian Kiesanowski won the silver medal in the women's scratch race at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Also competing in the Bend was a trio of promising New Zealand riders - Dion Smith, James Oram and Michael Torckler.
Smith (Hincapie Sportswear Development team) was fourth in the time trial, while Oram (Bissell Cycling team) was 24th and Torckler (SmartStop) 42nd.
Also showing good form ahead of the Games in Glasgow, Jesse Sergent completed a successful Tour of Austria with two podium finishes, including his first road stage win as a professional.
The Trek Factory Racing rider finished in 55th place behind winner Peter Kennaugh, of Team Sky, but produced an outstanding ride in the tough fifth stage when he left the breakaway behind with 20km to go for a solo victory.
Sergent, much better known for his time trial prowess, finished runner-up to his team-mate Kristof Vandewalle in the time trial stage later in the week.
Sergent's most recent win was in 2011, when he claimed three time-trial victories and two general classification wins, including the prologue and the overall at the Three Days of West Flanders.
Cameron Karwowski's great form continues, with a third placing on the cobblestones of northern France at the GP de Pont a Marcq, a UCI 1.2 category event.
Canterbury's Hamish Schreurs, also riding for Veranclassic, was 13th.
Pro Watch will take a break for the next three weeks while the Commonwealth Games are on. See you next month.
- The Southland Times