Christchurch’s Sharon Prutton was New Zealand’s sole medallist at this year’s UWCT Final, earning silver in both time trial and road race events in the Women’s 60-64 division.
Winning two silver medals is especially impressive considering Prutton is a first time competitor at the World Championships. A multi-sport athlete, Prutton got her start competing in endurance and running events - she’s completed the coast to coast ten times, and is an avid mountain biker.
Prutton won both time trial and road race events for her age group at New Zealand’s Club Road National Championships in May, and hopes to be back at the worlds again next year – where she’ll be gunning for gold.
The UWCT Final is the last race of the UCI World Cycling Tour, a series of UCI-sanctioned races held all over the world, and serves as the UCI Amateur Road World Championships. Riders have to qualify by finishing in the top twenty-five percent in their age group in one of fifteen worldwide events, or through wildcard selection via their national cycling body.
Qualified riders in each age group vie for the coveted rainbow jersey, which denotes world champion status. Last year the event was held in Trento, Italy, and New Zealand claimed four medals overall.
2013 road race silver medallist Jim McMurray returned again this year to compete in the Men’s 50-54 division. Unfortunately McMurray battled illness leading up to the time trial, where he finished ninth, and was still not back in top form for the road race.
There were 154 starters in the Men’s 50-54 division (one of the largest age groups), and conditions were calm and clear. McMurray completed the 158km race in just 3hr 55min to finish sixth in a bunch sprint of approximately 40 riders.
Full New Zealand results to follow once available.
CAPTION: Sharon Prutton celebrates with her silver medal. Jim McMurray puts in the hard yards preparing for the road race. Image credits: Jim McMurray.