Fans get in the spirit at velodrome as 34 teams compete

NICK JEFFREY
Last updated 05:00 25/06/2012

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In today's business world, companies have to be quick to react, flexible and have the ability to act decisively and with speed.

Now, I'm not talking about how they operate 9 to 5! I'm referring to the 2012 version of Cycling Southland's Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit.

This year another capacity field of 34 six-person teams will line up over two race days next month to find the south's best cycling corporate.

There is a great mix of experience and first-timers in the field from every sector imaginable with teams from H&J Smith, Whyte's Gravel Supplies, The Southland Times, McIntyre Dick and Partners, PowerNet, Preston Russell Law, WHK, ASA Stonewood Homes, Southland District Council, Harcourts, Environment Southland, NZ Police, Invercargill Licensing Trust, AWS Legal, BNZ, Ricoh, BMAC Sheetmetal, The Radio Network, Westpac, Southroads, HW Richardson Group, Opus International Consultants, EIS Group, Finance Now, Amalgamated Builders, Fulton Hogan Southland, Fonterra, Calder Stewart Roofing, YMCA, Waihopai Health Services, SBS Bank, St Thomas Aquinas School and sponsor Harrex Group.

So, how does it work? Each team has been training hard refining their combinations over the last month with our personal team coaches at the Stadium Southland Velodrome.

The first challenge is the Grading Time Trial on July 8 when each team will take on the clock in a one-off four-lap ride.

This ranks the team in order from first to 34th for the Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit Finals one week later on July 15.

On finals day the field is split into two divisions and it turns in to an elimination format. Teams ride two at a time with the winner of each four-lapper progressing through the rounds and the losers dropping into our plate competitions. Ultimately, two teams are left to battle for the big divisional prizes.

Last year the NZ Police took out division one over Calder Stewart Roofing, while YMCA defeated Fonterra to take win division two.

Both race days are two of the most colourful in the Velodrome all year. The teams come decked out in customised racing tops and supporters and workmates do the same, filling the stand with banners, costumes and plenty of noise. It is always great to see how much faster the teams ride on the competition days, firing themselves up with support from the bleachers.

It's great fun and expertly organised by Julian Ineson and Sier Vermunt, who have plans for next month well in hand. Thanks again for all your work guys.

Before I go, congratulations go to Cycling Southland's Erin Criglington who last week was awarded a services award at the National Bike Road and Track Volunteer Awards. It's always great to see someone like Erin, who gives so much as a rider, official, volunteer, coach and mentor, get something back.Nick Jeffrey is Cycling Southland's chief executive officer.

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- The Southland Times

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