Collins secures New Zealand criterium title for Wiggle Honda
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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Collins secures New Zealand criterium title for Wiggle Honda

by VeloNation Press at 6:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Sprint success for 23 year old Kiwi

Emily CollinsHaving clocked up Wiggle Honda’s first road race victory when she won the Omloop van het Hageland in March, Kiwi rider Emily Collins has bookended the year with a win at the end of the season in the New Zealand national championships.

The 23 year old rider outsprinted Sophie Williamson from Alexandra and Nelson’s Karen Fulton at the end of the thirty minute race in downtown Takapuna, Auckland. She prevailed despite being closely marked by the peloton.

Collins had a solid season, netting fifth on a stage of the Giro d’Italia Femminile, fifth on a stage of the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen and seventh in the time trial at the Giro Toscana.

Netting a national title puts her in a good frame of mind as she builds towards 2014.

“I’m over the moon to win the New Zealand Criterium Nationals tonight!” she said. “I went in with a pretty relaxed attitude after coming off a nice off season break, but after a three weeks solid training and preparation from Noosa, plus a bit of motor pacing with my old man, I managed to feel pretty good out there!”

Being watched by others meant that she had to tailor her strategy in a certain way. “I was keen to be aggressive and make things tough from the go,” she stated. “I was pretty heavily marked, so it proved a bit difficult to create a gap. Sophie Williamson was the key contester and made things nice and heated throughout! I ended up deciding that my best chances would be to hold off for a sprint kick, so I tucked in for the final laps, but stuck in the top-three in a good position.”

A rider kicked clear on the final lap and with the others stalling, Collins jumped hard with three quarters of a lap to go. She was caught, but was able to recover. “I managed to almost close before the chasing peloton reconnected, and I luckily hung in for a good kick to take the win.”

She is from Auckland and had the additional boost of plenty of support. “I’m very pleased to win this on home soil,” she said, thanking her supporters from their encouragement.

New Zealand national criterium championships, Takapuna, Auckland:

1, Emily Collins (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
2, Sophie Williamson (Alexandra)
3, Karen Fulton (Nelson)


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