NZCT Cycle Classic - Stage 1 - Kiwi Joe Cooper ( Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisors has smoked the opening stage time trial of the NZCT Cycle Classic.

After a smashing win 10 days ago in the NZ Elite Cycling Championships, Joe Cooper has backed it up with the fastest time of 9.10 over the opening 7.1km stage time trial in Manawatu.

In temperatures topping the high 20’s and blustery conditions, Cooper started the day mid field of 77 riders.

The early lead after the first wave of rides was NZ TT runner up champion Paul Odlin (Armstrong Motors) with a benchmark setting time of 9.40, but as the day when on, it was clear Cooper was on a blistering time.

Last years opening time trial winner Australian Campbell Flakemore also of Huon Salmon- Genesys Wealth Advisors finished the day in second place, 7 seconds down on his team mate in a time of 9.17.

Another Australian riding for the Drapac Pro Cycling team, Darren Lapthorne was third, another 12 seconds down on Cooper at 9.29, with his team member Malcolm Rudolph fourth (9.34)

Odlin’s time of 9.40 was matched by Joseph Lewis (GPM-Data # 3) for fifth and sixth places.

Cooper told Roadcycling.co.nz “The key to this win is down to preparation. A good warm up, so I can hit the road immediately at 100%.”

“My time trialling is based on holding my wattage output, I knew what I was capable of and I knew that would be competitive” Cooper said.

“I held 100% for most of the ride and it dropped to around 90% coming into the last corner, so in all a really good outcome” said Cooper.

Team member and runner up Flakemore told Roadcycling.co.nz “My winning time from last year was 9.28, so when I rode 9.17 I knew I was in the running, but I’m happy to be beaten by my team mate”

The Australian Huon Salmon- Genesys Wealth Advisors racing team finished with all five of their riders placed in the top ten on General Clarification.

Tomorrows stage will see the riders tackle the 148.3km Stage 2 from Palmerston North to Apiti and return. The stage will start 10am at the Palmerston North Square, finishing back at Memorial park at approx 1.30pm.

The riders will contest two KOM climbs after 62.5kms and 78.6kms. The final ride back to Palmerston North is mainly down hill.

Stage One results

1. Joesph Cooper NZL 9.10
2. Campbell Flakemore Aus 9.17
3. Darren lapthorne Aus 9.29
4. Malcolm Rudolph Aus 9.34
5. Joseph Lewis Aus 9.40
6. Paul Odlin NZL 9.40
7. Ben Dyball Aus 9.42
8. Nathan Earle Aus 9.43
9. Thomas Palmer Aus 9.45
10. Patrick Shaw Aus 9.46

Press Release and Photo courtesy of www.roadcycling.co.nz.