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Southern riders to hit Elite Road champs

Last updated 12:14 20/12/2012
Southland Times photo
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
Central Otago cyclist Sophie Williamson.
James Williamson
Southland cyclist James Williamson.

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The Southland skinsuit will again be prominent at the Elite Road Championships in Christchurch next month.

After last year's historic double success in the elite men's and women's races by Cycling Southland and Central Otago-Wakatipu with club members James Williamson and Nicky Samuels, a total of nine southern riders will contest the  Calder Stewart-sponsored 2013 titles from January 11 to 13.

Kylie Young and Gabby Vermunt will ride the Women's Elite Time Trial in a small 10-strong field headlined by Olympian Linda Villumsen.

Young will back up to ride the road race over 119.5km and will be joined by Sophie Williamson who is enjoying a string of impressive results, including her most recent series win in the New South Wales Grand Prix.

Older brother James will try to defend the title he won 12 months ago.

By his own admission, this year's nationals are less of a focus for him, with his primary focus to deliver strong results for his new team, Node 4-Subaru in the United Kingdom.

He will wear 1 as his race number as defending champion in what should be a fascinating race with all seven of New Zealand's Pro Tour riders lining up on the start-line, along with Southlander James Canny riding for L&M Group Racing.

Pieter Bulling, Matt Zenovich and Tom Vessey will ride the 182 kilometre race as Under 23s, while clubmate Bradley Tuhi will also contest the event for Benchmark Homes.

Zenovich will be the sole Southland time trialler over the 40km distance.

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- The Southland Times

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