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Kiwi riders get excellent results in warmup event

Last updated 05:00 28/08/2013

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The NZ Para-cycling team has made a solid start to its busy race schedule in Canada this month.

The team competed in the 2013 UCI Para-cyling Road World Cup, a great warmup event for the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships next week.

Paralympic stars and tandem partners Phillipa Gray and Laura Fairweather (sighted pilot) finished second to take the silver medal and back up their Paralympic silver in the 24.9km women's B time trial.

It was a close race, with Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall (Great Britian) taking the race by less than a minute.

However, they did not complete the second race of the event (women's B road race) because of a puncture.

New Zealand's newest tandem combination, Emma Foy and Gabby Vermunt (sighted pilot), placed fourth in the women's B time trial, less than 10 seconds behind the experienced combination of Gray and Fairweather. On the final day of competition, they rode to silver in the women's B road race, exceeding all expectations.

Foy and Vermunt were only three seconds behind gold medallists Josefa Benitez Guzman and Judit Masdeu Cort, of Spain.

Head performance coach Brendon Cameron was pleased with the results.

"Initially, this was just going to be a great learning opportunity for the new pairing of Emma and Gabrielle to get some experience on the road prior to the world championships, but to come away with a fourth and second is outstanding in their first two starts on the international scene.

"We are very excited about our new team members and what lies ahead."

Paralympian Fiona Southorn placed fifth in the women's C5 time trial, maintaining her placing in this event from the London Paralympics.

Of the nine-strong team, four development hand cyclists competed in the road time trial and road race events, with placings in the top 15.

The team will now compete at the 2013 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Baie-Comeau, Canada, from Friday (NZ time) to September 2.

Meanwhile, New Zealand riders Jesse Sergent and Hayden Roulston have signed with new Pro Tour team Trek for next season.

Trek Bicycle Co have bought the license owned by Sergent and Roulston's previous team, Radioshack-Leopard, from January2014, with Swiss classics specialist and principle rider Fabian Cancellara signing with the new team for the next three years.

Trek have also confirmed the signings of Stijn Devolder, veteran Yaroslav Popovych, Markel Irizar and Gregory Rast.

Previous confirmed signings included Andy and Frank Schleck, and Jens Voigt.

"This group of riders has been essential to Fabian's success in 2012 and especially 2013," team director Dirk Demol said.

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"From here on, we keep on working hard, toward many more successes."

The length of Sergent and Roulston's contracts were not detailed.

- The Southland Times

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