US win adds icing to Olympics call-up

01:43, Jan 31 2009
SPEED THRILL: Catherine Cheatley competing during the 2008 National Track Championships at Invercargill in February.

Invercargill-based cyclist Catherine Cheatley celebrated her call-up to the New Zealand Olympics cycling team by winning a four-day road race in New England, in the United States, yesterday.

It was her second win for the Cheerwine team this season, having won the CSC Invitational on June 1.

She has also had two second placings and a fourth after 23 races.

Cheatley led by 19sec coming into yesterday morning's (NZ time) final stage of the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, a criterium in Massachusetts, and breezed home in 11th place to comfortably defend her lead.

On Friday, Cheatley was selected by the New Zealand Olympics Council for the track points race at Beijing.

She had won the points race bronze medal at last year's world championships in Barcelona before a leg operation to improve blood flow in her left leg late last year slowed her down.

Still regaining full fitness, she was 21st in the points race at this year's world championships in Manchester and was 10th in the scratch race.

In the New England race, Cheatley finished second in the first 10km time-trial stage, won the 111km second stage and was fifth in yesterday's 55km third stage.


The Southland Times