by Chris Tobin
Timaru professional cyclist Shane Archbold put a long spell of injuries and disappointments behind him when he sprinted to victory in the New Zealand Road Cycling Championships in Cambridge on Sunday.
Waimate’s Dylan Kennett managed third place.
Archbold’s victory was his first as part of Belgian team Deceuninck-QuickStep and and came after George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) threw down the gauntlet on the challenging 174km course, going out alone in the final stages.
The specialist hill-climber held a lead of 2m 30s with 20km left to race.
However, Archbold and two others were chasing hard and about 3km from the finish Archbold caught Bennett.
He then outsprinted him to claim the title in a time of 4h14m42s.
Bennett was two seconds behind, followed by Kennett (St George Continental) 53sec further back, after he edged out Aaron Gate (Black Spoke Pro).
In a standout day for South Canterbury cycling, two locals made the podium.
Two days earlier, Kennett took another bronze medal in the time trial won by Olympic champion oarsman Hamish Bond, who recorded a time of 46m52.95s.