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Three Hawke's Bay cricketers in Central Stags to meet Canterbury tomorrow

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The Devon Hotel Central Stags selectors have welcomed Nelson off spinner Martin Kain back from injury and added him to the 12 man squad that defeated the Auckland Aces earlier this week for their Qualifying Final match against Canterbury tomorrow.

The winner of this match will host the Ford Trophy Final on 30 January. The loser will host a knockout match on 27 January against the winner of the match between the Otago Volts and the Auckland Aces to be played in Invercargill tomorrow.

Devon Hotel Central Stags squad for the Ford Trophy Qualifying Final against Canterbury at Hagley Park, Christchurch:

William Young (Taranaki - Captain)

Doug Bracewell (Hawke’s Bay)

Tom Bruce (Taranaki)

Dane Cleaver (Manawatu)

Martin Kain (Nelson)

Ajaz Patel (Hawke’s Bay)

Seth Rance (Wairarapa)

Jesse Ryder (Wairarapa)

Bevan Small (Manawatu)

Ben Smith (Wanganui)

Blair Tickner (Hawke’s Bay)

George Worker (Manawatu)

Ben Wheeler (Marlborough)

The match commences at 11.00am.

Southern Utd v Hawke’s Bay Utd this Sunday

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WaiBOP United scored a stunning 5-0 victory over a fired up Waitakere United in an eventful opening to round nine of the 2015/16 ASB Premiership on Thursday night.

Playing at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton, leading scorer Stephen Hoyle looped the opening goal over goalkeeper Danny Robinson to set the hosts on their way in the fifth minute, but they didn’t have it all their own way during an open first half.

Waitakere United looked dangerous through their front three of Nathaniel Bowen, Sean Lovemore and Brandon Barnes, but when Mark Jones was felled in the box by ex-WaiBOP United captain Aaron Scott just on the half hour, the game took on a decidedly different look when Jones slotted the resulting penalty for 2-0.

Five minutes later new signing Sean Morris, failed to convert from in front after an excellent passing move but it didn’t matter as Hoyle grabbed his second five minutes from the break when he combined with a couple of visiting defenders to slide home WaiBOP United’s third goal.

A more subdued second half burst into life late on with two more goals, one to Hoyle for his hat-trick, and Sanni Issa - who slotted home from the spot after being brought down by Ross Haviland.

Haviland received a red card as the last defender and he was joined in the changing rooms soon after by another ex-WaiBOP United player in Chad Coombes, who received a second yellow.

Meanwhile, WaiBOP captain and defender Adam Mitchell was stretchered off in the second half with a dislocated shoulder.

Thursday’s result sees WaiBOP United, who recorded a 5-1 win over Waitakere in November, jump up to second on goal difference while Waitakere United remain in sixth position, six points outside the top four.

WaiBOP United coach Peter Smith paid tribute to his side, who were braced for a strong effort from the visitors.

"The lads did extremely well," Smith said. "We had a game plan, the lads stuck to the game plan and the system we’re playing suits the abilities of the players we’ve got.

"In the middle of the park we won the battle there. Alexis Varela, Mario Ilich and Federico [Marquez] worked extremely hard with Mark Jones and Sean Morris coming in and supporting them.

"The result we had against Waitakere at the start of the season, they would be desperate to avoid that. We were aware they’d come with a bit of fight and a bit of spirit and [we had] to prevent that."

After their third straight win, Smith said the team are flowing with the confidence that such a streak provides.

"When we spoke a few weeks ago we said the next three games were must-win games if we wanted to be in the playoffs. To get the result against the Phoenix, to back that up against Southern and to get the result and the performance tonight it indicates we’re in a good space. But at the same time we’re taking nothing for granted."

Waitakere United coach Chris Milicich lamented a poor defensive outing from his side in a crucial game.

"[It] certainly wasn’t the result we were looking for," Milicich said.

"I thought we were done by some pretty simple long balls over the top of us, we didn’t defend it well. Waikato have played well, they scored their goals…we had chances but we were by far the second best side tonight."

Milicich said his side will keep fighting for their playoff lives but said he would look at freshening up his team for their next match.

"Mathematically there’s a chance there, and you always keep playing while there is a chance. It would be fair to say there will be quite a few changes coming through, there kind of has to. It’s not an acceptable result with two guys getting sent off.

The ASB Premiership continues on Sunday with three matches: Southern Utd v Hawke’s Bay Utd, Team Wellington v Canterbury United and, in the SKY Sport televised encounter, leaders Auckland City take on the Wellington Phoenix.

ASB Premiership 2015/16 - Round 9

Thursday 21 January

WaiBOP United 5-0 Waitakere United (half: 3-0)

WB: Stephen Hoyle 5', 40', 89', Mark Jones 29', Sanni Issa 90+3’

WU: -

WaiBOP United: Zac Speedy (GK); Scott Hilliar, Adam Mitchell (Cory Mitchell 80'), Tyler Lissette, Finn Cochran; Mario Ilich, Alexis Varela; Mark Jones (Wade Molony 73'), Sean Morris, Federico Marquez (Sanni Issa 86'); Stephen Hoyle

Substitutes not used: Neil Achary (RGK), James Hoyle

Coach: Peter Smith

Waitakere United: Danny Robinson (GK), Aaron Scott, Ross Haviland, Brandon Barnes, Chad Coombes, Nathaniel Bowen, Sean Lovemore, Jake Butler, Sam O'Regan (Christian Gray), Eder Franchini-Pasten (Thomas Shaw 53), Elder (Jake Porter 84')

Substitutes not used: Simon Williams (RGK), Marcel Nolde

Coach: Chris Milicich

Match report via WaiBOP United

3 new time trial winners at the Big Save Elite Road Cycling Championships in Napier

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Patrick Bevin

Three new time trial winners claimed national honours at the Big Save Elite Road Cycling Championships in Napier today.

Taupo’s Patrick Bevin celebrated his move to World Tour team Cannondale Pro Cycling, with victory in the elite men’s time trial over lumpy terrain in testing conditions today.

Meanwhile Olympic track hopeful Rushlee Buchanan has kept her hopes of a road racing treble alive after her first time trial win on top of the New Zealand Criterium title she won last month.

There was a clean sweep by Waikato riders with Hayden McCormick claiming the under-23 honours to give his new ONE Pro Cycling its first international victory.

Strong winds made an already testing course tougher for today’s time trial based at the Church Road Winery and rolling over the hills near Taradale.

Buchanan had to recover from a restart, after she was sent the wrong way, to win the honours by just one second from her fellow Cycling New Zealand high performance track teammate Jaime Nielsen.

Nielsen (Waikato BOP), who was chasing her third straight national time trial win, was last to ride, coming home in 34:15.64 for the 23.2km journey.

But Buchanan and Marlborough’s Georgia Cattrick were given restarts and Nielsen had to wait before Buchanan edged her by one second.

"It’s great to win this for my United Healthcare team. While I’ve won the road race and the criterium, this was something I’ve always wanted," Buchanan said.

"The course suited me more than an open, flat course. It was so hard out there but I took out a fair bit of anger after having to restart."

Canterbury’s Sharlotte Lucas was third from Catterick, who had a top-25 finish at her first visit to the world championships last year.

Bevin, like Buchanan an accomplished and explosive road and track rider, showed his poise to dominate the elite men’s race over 40.5km.

He went through the first loop 24 seconds up on defending champion Joe Cooper (Avanti IsoWhey), but blasted the second lap to win in 52.20s.

Fellow Commonwealth Games track representative Tom Scully (Southland), in his first outing for UCI Pro Continental team Drapac, made the early running. Seventh through the first lap, Scully poured it on over the second lap to finish in 53:33.76.

It took until the penultimate ride from Bevin to dislodge him with Cooper finishing third in an impressive effort.

Behind him was new elite James Oram (Auckland), who joins Dion Smith and McCormick at ONE Pro Cycling, with Paul Odlin (Canterbury) and AG2R La Mondiale World Tour rider Jesse Sergent to follow.

"I’ve been working on my time trial and I knew this course would suit me," Bevin said. "I am thrilled to post the first international win for my new Cannondale team, it’s fantastic. That was so hard and at any stage I could have lost my advantage. "

While a time trial-road race double is rare, Bevin remains positive about his chances.

"Someone has to win the road race so why not me? It is such a hard course with so many options. If I can hang in there then I have a chance."

McCormick came out on top in a three-way battle in the under-23 race, winning in 55:56.89 with 14 seconds covering the first three riders. He finished ahead of Southland’s Liam Aitcheson and defending under-23 road champion Hamish Schreurs (Canterbury).

"I didn’t feel that well today but really battled through a tough course and big winds. It is going to be an exciting year moving to ONE Pro Cycling and have a couple of Kiwi friends with me. This was a great way to start," McCormick said.

Tomorrow is the 117km women’s road race with an initial 60km loop in the country near Taradale before returning for 4.5 laps of a 13km inner city course including the climb over Bluff Hill.

The elite and under-23 men’s race is on Sunday.

Big Save Elite Road Championships in Napier gears up

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The battle to wear the national champions jersey in cycling events around the globe is a major draw for riders in this weekend’s Big Save Elite Road Championships in Napier.

All competitors are riding into the unknown on an exciting new course in Napier, the sixth time the championships have been staged in the Hawkes Bay, but the first time venturing into the inner city.

Organisers, supported by Napier City Council, have developed an exciting and testing road course with an initial long loop into the rolling country near Taradale, before returning for several laps of a testing and spectacular 13km inner city lap that includes the climb of Bluff Hill.

The championships begin on Friday with the time trials based at Church Road Winery with the course offering a mix of technical challenges and hills.

The national champions are entitled to wear the New Zealand colours throughout 2016 wherever they race.

The country’s most celebrated rider in recent times, Julian Dean, said the honour of wearing the champion’s jersey was a thrill.

"I got to wear my New Zealand jersey in races like the Tour de France. Not only was it a real honour, it also drew a lot of attention for the country," said the now-retired, two-time national champion who is the event ambassador.

The new road course is the major talking point as riders of all types from climbers like Nelson’s George Bennett to sprinters like Otago’s Greg Henderson weigh up who is best suited on this circuit.

Young hope Patrick Bevin, who recently signed for World Tour team Cannondale Pro Cycling, believes the course will be a tougher overall test that the daunting Cashmere Hill climbs in Christchurch which hosted the championships for the past five years.

"It is so hard. I do not think riders realise just how tough it will be. If it is a typically hot Hawkes Bay day then it will be absolutely brutal," Bevin said. "You will have to hang tough for as long as you can and hope to have some legs left for the final lap."

New cycle course will challenge competitors in Napier next weekend.

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Greg Henderson in action. Photo: Graham Watson.

A tough Napier course will provide new challenges for New Zealand's best cyclists at the national road championships.

An unfamiliar tough new course has added extra zip to the upcoming national road cycling championships in Napier this week.

World Tour rookie Patrick Bevin, who lines up in the colours of his new Cannondale Pro Cycling team, believes the new course could be "absolutely brutal" on a hot Hawke's Bay day.

Bevin, 24, is the sixth New Zealander to ride in this year's UCI World Tour, joining Jack Bauer, George Bennett, Sam Bewley, Greg Henderson and Jesse Sergent.

He is using the nationals as a sharpener leading into the Tour Down Under beginning on January 16, and believes the Napier course will provide a tougher overall test that the daunting Cashmere Hill climb in Christchurch, which has hosted the championships for the past five years.

"It is so hard. I don't think riders realise just how tough it will be.

"If it's a typically hot Hawke's Bay day, then it will be absolutely brutal. It is harder than Christchurch," Bevin said.

"Being a 60kg climber is not going to help much over that climb. There's just not going to be any easy way to get around.

"You will have to hang tough for as long as you can and hope to have some legs left for the final lap."

The championships start with time trials over a technical, occasionally hilly course at Church Road Winery on Friday, followed by the women's 117km race on Saturday and the men's 180km on Sunday.

World Champion heads impressive fields for national cycling championships in Napier

For the first time, a New Zealand World Champion lines up for the Big Save Elite Road National Championships in Napier in the New Year.

Linda Villumsen became the first New Zealander to win a UCI World Championship on the road when she won the time trial world title in USA in September.

The Christchurch-based rider has confirmed she will defend her national road championship honours won in Christchurch early this year.

More than 100 elite riders will contest the championships which forms part of a Summer Cycling Carnival in Hawkes Bay led by the national time trial and road titles on January 8-10.

The event ambassador, Julian Dean believes it is one of the strongest and most motivated fields for a national championship in recent years.

"I’ve been talking to the World Tour riders and also a number of the European-based Continental professionals and they are excited to perform well in Hawkes Bay," said Dean, who rode in 19 Grand Tours in his illustrious career.

"To win this race and be able to wear the New Zealand jersey in races in Europe is much sought-after and something that the riders and their teams value greatly. So they are well motivated to want to win this," said Dean who remembers the kudos he received wearing the national jersey in the Tour de France.

"To be the national champion is a unique point of difference in the peloton and you receive significantly more profile plus the New Zealand jersey is so special."

"We’ve got five World Tour riders and there’s fantastic depth of talent in the men, and the women’s field is definitely deeper that it has been in recent times which is exciting."

Villumsen heads an excellent women’s field that includes 2010 and 2014 champion Rushlee Buchanan, the 2013 winner Courtney Lowe, both Waikato-BOP, and double Olympian Joanne Kiesanowski (Canterbury), who won the national honours in Hawkes Bay in 2003.

The women’s field includes double time trial champion Jaime Nielsen, Southland’s Laura Thompson, a triple Paralympics medallist as a co-pilot; US-based professional Emily Collins (Auckland); track star Georgia Williams (Auckland); triathletes Kate McIlroy (Otago) and Sophie Corbridge (Waikato BOP) and a number of talented young guns.

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The men’s field includes five UCI World Tour professionals in Greg Henderson (Lotto Soudal), Sam Bewley (OricaGreenEdge), Jesse Sergent (AG2R La Mondiale), George Bennett (Lotto NL Jumbo) and Patrick Bevin (Cannondale Pro Cycling).

Joseph Cooper (Wellington) will defend his men’s crown with strong support from the Avanti IsoWhey Sports team, along with leading elite Cycling New Zealand track riders Cameron Karwowski (Southland) and Alex Frame (Canterbury), UK-based Madison Genesis pros Tom Scully (Southland) and Mike Northey (Auckland) and super-talented young riders James Oram and Dion Smith (both Auckland) who have their first appearance in the elite grade and with the new European-based team ONE Pro Cycling.

Europe-based pro Hamish Schreurs (Canterbury) will defend his under-23 crown in a field that includes 2014 national champion Hayden McCormick (Waikato BOP) and world champion team pursuit track riders Dylan Kennett and Regan Gough, who will have local support alongside his teammate and cousin Fraser Gough.

The road race course comprises a long loop around the well-known Puketapu circuit before returning for a number of laps over an exciting inner city course that takes in the testing Napier Hill and finishes on Marine Parade.

The Big Save Elite Road National Championships begin with the time trials at Church Road on 8 January, with the elite women’s road race over 117kms including 4.5 loops of the inner city course on Saturday 9 January, and the elite and under-23 men’s race on Sunday over 180kms with 7.5 laps in the Napier CBD.

To find out more go to www.summercyclingcarnival..co.nz

Timber by EMSIEN-3 LTD