Elite honours secured by Drummond and Gardner at Criterium nationals

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Michaela Drummond celebrated a remarkable hometown victory during Cycling New Zealand’s National Criterium Championships held on our Manawatū campus last month.

The event provided an exciting race for both riders and spectators, with the closed circuit on the campus grounds offering a high-paced and challenging ride, requiring participants to demonstrate many technical skills to compete at the highest level.

Positioned within a six-strong lead group, Ms Drummond, an international road professional and double track world championship medallist, held strong under the pressure in order to push ahead during the 45-minute race. Using her track speed and strategic awareness, she was able to sprint ahead to secure the elite women’s title ahead of Rylee McMullen and veteran Sharlotte Lucas.

Ms Drummond says she was thrilled about the win, considering the competition she faced.

“I’m very happy, as it means I get to take the national jersey to Europe. Kim Cadzow was so strong on the front, pulling hard with Sammie Maxwell that made it challenging. I just sat on. I’m a sprinter so I had to hang on and use my strengths.”

With this win under her belt, Ms Drummond’s attention now shifts to the big goal of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Meanwhile, in the elite men’s race, effective management was executed by the sole Union Cycliste International-sanctioned professional team who were well-represented in the action throughout the 50-minute race.

Eighteen-year-old James Gardner credits his win to the great teamwork of his Mito-Q crew who timed things perfectly for him to surge toward the podium.

“The team were on all day – they executed the plans to perfection, controlling the entire race and it was amazing to be part of it. I’m stoked, it was awesome! I’ll wear the national criterium jersey while racing in the United States this year with pride.”

The feedback from the day was positive, with riders commending the success of the event and the circuit’s quality and atmosphere.

Sport Advancement Manager Jacob Oram says it was a privilege for Massey to host the Cycling Criterium for a second year.

“It was awesome to see the Manawatū campus buzzing with cyclists, supporters and spectators. The weather was superb, and the course seems to be a winner with both the administrators and cyclists. My thanks to the Massey staff and their teams involved in making the day a success, including Richard Lloyd, David Thompson, Ron Werner, Gary Mack and Fran Healy.”



Under 17 (30 mins + 1lap): Nina Worrall (Auckland) 39:51.43, 1; Poppy McIvor (Invercargill) at 1sec, 2; Minnie Collins (Levin) 1 lap, 3.

Under-19 (30mins + 1lap): Ava Maddison (Auckland) 39:34.60, 1; Alex Rawlinson (Tauranga) same time, 2; Elena Worrall (MitoQ-NZ Cycle Project, Auckland) st, 3.

Elite (45mins + 3laps): Michaela Drummond (Manawatu, Arkea B&B Hotels) 56:19, 1; Rylee McMullen (Tokoroa, Denver Disruptors, st, 2; Sharlotte Lucas st, 3.


Under-17: David Kwon (Auckland) 22:19.87, 1; Harry Shannon (Auckland) st, 2; Andrew Jensen (North Shore) st, 3.

Under-19: Finn McKenzie (Blenheim) 37:50.15, 1; Reef Roberts (Oamaru) st, 2; Lachlan McNabb (Blenheim) at 1 sec, 3.

Elite (50mins + 3 laps): James Gardner (MitoQ-NZ Cycle Project, Dunedin) 54:59, 1; James Wilson (MitoQ-NZ Cycle Project, Timaru) st, 2; Ryan Christensen (Hamilton) st, 3.

Read more about the event on Cycling New Zealand.

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