Friday, February 9, 2024 at 8:31 am
Ella Willey can call herself a New Zealand cycling champion for a year. Last night Liv AlUla Jaiko's 21-year-old rider won the road arena after becoming the national U23 champion in the time trial earlier this week. Elite and promising riders rode together in the road race.
After more than 122 kilometers of racing around the port city of Timaru in the South Canterbury region, the championship in New Zealand became a three-way race. Willie managed to defeat 22-year-old Kim Gatso and mountain biker Samara Maxwell.
Liv AlUla Jayco's winner is officially still a promise, as earlier this week she won the time trial championship with force majeure in the U23 category. At that time she won silver among the elite women, behind Gatso. In the road race, elites and promises rode together, with the elite title at stake for the winner anyway.
Willie, who finished seventh at the Women's Tour Down Under earlier this year, finished behind New Zealand champion Allie Wollaston (AG Insurance-Soutal). Wollaston did not defend his title. The New Zealand Men's Road Championships are scheduled for Friday to Saturday night.
🇳🇿 Your 2024 New Zealand Elite Women's Road Race Champion!! 🇳🇿
Fern is back on the team!
Congratulations Ella Willie 🥝 pic.twitter.com/7AfRA8hfuR
— GreenEDGE Cycling (@GreenEDGEteam) February 9, 2024
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