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Cook Islands cyclists dig deep at Oceania Pacific Cup event

Thursday 21 September 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Cycling, Sports


Cook Islands cyclists dig deep  at Oceania Pacific Cup event

Cook Islands cycling duo Jason Moorfield and Roland Neururer competed in the second Oceania Cycling Federation Pacific Cup held in Tahiti over the weekend, both posting impressive results.

Moorfield and Neururer competed in the 30-kilometre time trial and the 100km road race hosted by the Tahiti Cycling Federation.

The cycle course for both races was predominantly along the coastal road, heading out of Papeete.

The course terrain was variable, including steep hills, narrow roads and uneven ground, while rain and wet conditions made it difficult to navigate.

Competitors also included cyclists from Samoa, Tahiti, Guam, Fiji and New Caledonia.  

The 30km time trial started from the city of Arue involving an “out and back” course.

Every rider was given a position to start with one-minute intervals between riders.

Neururer was chosen to start in first position and Moorfield in third.

While they both had a very strong start, both Cook Islands riders were eventually passed by upcoming riders.

Neururer finished seventh in a time of 44.08 minutes and Moorfield a close eighth in 45.07 minutes.

The 100km road race with 25 riders, started from Arue at 7.30am.

Again, weather conditions were unpredictable with rain showers and a mild wind forecast.

The beginning of the race was super-fast and again, the Tahitians dominated the start with an early group forming the first peloton.

Moorfield and Neururer struggled to stick with the leading pack, however, they formed a second peloton of approximately eight riders, who stuck together for most of the race.

Heavy rain pushed the cyclists to dig deep and work together to keep the momentum of the group.

It was clear from the turn-around that the first cycling group had approximately 20 minutes of time ahead of the second group.

With 5km to go, the last hurdle was a steep hill incline spread over approximately 1km.

The Cook Islands pair gave it everything, grinding up the hill, and splitting from the group of eight.

Heading towards the finish line, the riders were hitting speeds of over 60km per hour.

Neururer and Moorfield finished together with a time of 2 hours 52 minutes in ninth and tenth places, respectively.

They would like to thank the Cook Island Cycling Federation and Cycling New Zealand for the opportunity to participate in the second Oceania Cycling Federation Pacific Cup.

The next Pacific Cup will be held in Samoa in 2025.