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Benchmark Tour, Series 08 - Race 7 - Lowe & Associates 20/9, Rangiora, 145k

Overall podium, L to R, Sam Horgan U23 ( Benchmark,in the absence of Shane Archbold, Kelford/Reiker. ); Gordon McCauley, Senior(Benchmark); Chris Nicholson, Master (Star & Garter-Tasman); Karen Fulton, Women (Star & Garter-Tasman)

Womens podium L to R, Karen Fulton 2nd, Jeannie Kuhajek 1st, Donna Sibley 3rd

1 Gordon McCauley, Benchmark. 3hrs 12m.41s
2 Ashley Whitehead, Delmaine. +0.41
3 Chris Nicholson, Star & Garter-Tasman. s.t.
4 Craig Lawn, Kelford/Reiker. s.t.
5 Jeremy Yates, Subway. s.t.
6 George Bennett, Star & Garter-Tasman. s.t.
7 Hayden Roulston, Trek. s.t.
8 Darren Shea, Kelford/Reiker. s.t.

1 Jeannie Kuhajek, Star & Garter-Tasman.
2 Karen Fulton, Star & Garter-Tasman.
3 Donna Sibley, Benchmark.

1st Team. Subway Cycling Team, 2nd Team. Star & Garter-Tasman, 3rd Team. Benchmark

Benchmark Tour, Series 08 - Race 6 - "Hell of the South"

See separate article - click here

Benchmark Tour, Series 08 - Race 5 - Woollaston Estates Circuit - 3/8/08

Above, the lead group of 12 riders go through the Start/Finish

Tour leaders, Nemisha Smith, Gordon McCauley, Chris Nicholson, Sam Horgan.

The First Three - Daniel Barry 3rd, Shane Archbold 1st, Robin Reid 2nd.

First three Women, Nichole Anderson 3rd, Nemisha Smith 1st, Karen Fulton 2nd.

The leading Team, Benchmark Homes, with Team Manager Tony Laplanche and the 'booty'

(All 4 images above courtesy of Colin Smith.)

Shane Archbold (Kelford Reiker)
Robin Reid (Star & Garter-Tasman)
Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes)
Sam Horgan (Benchmark Homes)
Brett Dawber (Bikeright)
Leon Hextall (Benchmark Homes)
Craig Lawn (Scott/PFC)
Jack Bauer (Star & Garter-Tasman)
Ed Crossling (Delmaine Fine Foods)
Chris Nicholson (Star & Garter-Tasman)
George Bennett (Star & Garter-Tasman)
Jason Allen (Benchmark Homes)
Joe Chapman (Delmaine Fine Foods)
Jeremy Yates (Subway)
Shane Melrose (Otago))
Nemisha Smith (Bikeright)
Karen Fulton (Star & Garter-Tasman)
Nicole Anderson (Benchmark Homes)
Bronwen Frazer (Star & Garter-Tasman)
1st Team - Benchmark Homes
2nd Team - Star & Garter-Tasman
3rd Team - Kelford/Reiker
Classification Leaders
Gordon McCauley (Benchmark Homes) - Senior Men
Nemisha Smith (Bikeright)- Senior Women
Sam Horgan (Benchmark Homes) - U23 Men
Chris Nicholson (Star & Garter-Tasman)- Masters

Teams Classment
1. Benchmark Homes Cycling Team, 61 points
2. Subway Cycling Team, 54 points
3. Kelford/Reiker Cycling Team, 50 points
4. Star & Garter-Tasman Cycling Team, 47 points
5. Lowe and Associates Cycling Team, 17 points
Leader Board after 5 rounds:
Nemisha Smith (Bikeright)
Karen Fulton (Star & Garter-Tasman)
Katri Laike (Kelford/Reiker)
Sara MacDonald (Cycling Otago)
Tracy Clark (Team Thule Cycling)
Gordon McCauley (Benchmark Homes)
Paul Odlin (S&GW)
Chris Nicholson (Star & Garter-Tasman)
Sam Horgan (Kelford/Reiker)
Craig Lawn (Scott/PFC)
Tom Findlay (Subway Cycling Team)
Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes)
Shane Archbold (Kelford/Reiker)
Marc Ryan (Kelford/Reiker)
Jeremy Yates (Subway Cycling Team)
James Williamson (Subway))
Steven Elden (Kelford/Reiker)
Robin Reid (Star & Garter-Tasman)
Jack Bauer (Star & Garter-Tasman)
Jason Christie (Subway Cycling Team))

The Star and Garter Wheelers Club thanks Woollaston Estates, Nelson Building Society and the Tasman District Council for their support of this fantastic event. Well done to all the riders who turned out to race on what could have been a grim event weather-wise but who were all rewarded by warm temperatures and brilliant sunshine!

A Map of the circuit has been generated using Click here to view this in a new browser window.

All the following images Photos courtesy of Mike Watson
Below - the Pinarello boys, Richie Howes and Gary Overend

Lap 1, the Peleton in full flight

Lap 3, the 12 man breakaway comes through the Start/Finish area

The lead group as they approach the Old Caoch Road climb

The chase group on lap 4

The leading riders 'put the hammer down' on lap 5

The second group on the road at Grants Corner on lap 5

The second group at Dominion Road on lap 6 setting up the chase led by Rob Searle and Chris Nicholson

The leading women come through the start/finish with two laps to go

Chris Nicholson (L) and George Bennett get the bell and lead the chase

The chase group get the bell, with Benchmark Tour Leader Gordon McCauley on the front.

Phillip Woollaston (L) and Malcolm Saunders survey proceedings with one lap to go

George Bennett takes 11th place.

Star & Garter - Tasman Team Round 5:

Robin Reid, Chris Nicholson, Dean Fulton, Jack Bauer, Al Dempsey, David Ayre, George Bennett, Kieran Hambrook, Karen Fulton, Bronwen Frazer

Club riders for the Benchmark race:

Nick Batt, Chris Charles, Richie Howes, Henry Kersten, Cameron Karwowski, Brendon Neylon, Gary Overend, Rob Searle

A map of the circuit has been generated using Click here to view this in a new browser window.

Benchmark Homes Tour - Race 4 from Hanmer to Kaikoura, 11/5/08, 132k,

Karen Fulton 1st woman
Chris Nicholson 1st Master and 6th place
George Bennett 7th place and 2nd U23
Jack Bauer 9th place
Star & Garter - Tasman Team 1st place

Results link here

Team - Chris Nicholson, Jack Bauer, Dean Fulton, Al Dempsey, David Ayre, George Bennett, Kieran Hambrook, Brian Grant, Karen Fulton, Jeannie Kuhajek, Bronwen Frazer. Club support riders - Cameron Karwowski, Grant Jones. Manager Malcolm Saunders, Asst. Manager Gary Overend.

Benchmark Homes Tour 08 - Round 3, Cust

Paul Odlin 1st, takes Leaders Jersey
Karen Fulton 1st Womens
Chris Nicholson retains Masters Jersey

Photos by Sonia Roussey

Results (Provisional);


  1. Paul Odlin (Trek) 135km in 3hrs 11mins 28secs
  2. Tom Findlay (Subway Cycling Team/Under 23) same time
  3. Tom Scully (Cycle Surgery - Dunedin/U23) st
  4. Sam Steele (Peak Fuel/U23) at 10secs
  5. Ruaraidh McLeod (Subway Cycling Team/U23) st
  6. Gordon McCauley (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) st
  7. Stephen Elden (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) st
  8. Joe Chapman (Delmaine Fine Foods) st
  9. Marc Prutton (Pegasus) st
  10. Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team/U23) st
  11. Craig Lawn (Scott - Penny Sport Cycles/Master) st
  12. Chris O’Connor (Cycle Surgery – Dunedin/U23) st
  13. Michael Vink (Delmaine Fine Foods/U23) st
  14. Terry Moes (Velo Kiwi Ecosse Cycling Team/U23) st
  15. Hayden Roulston (Trek) st


First Women;


  1. Karen Fulton (Star & Garter – Tasman)
  2. Nimesha Smith (BikeRIGHT)
  3. Katri Laike (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team)

First Team;


Subway Cycling Team


Points Standing after Round Three (Provisional);


  1. Paul Odlin (Trek) 43 points
  2. Gordon McCauley (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) 39 pts
  3. Tom Findlay (Subway Cycling Team/U23) 36 pts
  4. Marc Ryan (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) 25 pts
  5. Stephen Elden (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) 24 pts
  6. Sam Horgan (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team/U23) 23 pts
  7. Chris Nicholson (Star & Garter – Tasman/Master) 22 pts
  8. Jason Christie (Subway Cycling Team/U23) 22 pts
  9. Craig Lawn (Scott – Penny Sport Cycles/Master) 21 pts
  10. Anthony Chapman (Lowe & Associates) 21 pts
  11. Tom Scully (Cycle Surgery – Dunedin/U23) 20 pts
  12. Darren Shea (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team/U23) 20 pts
  13. Sam Steele (Peak Fuel/U23) 18 pts
  14. Shane Melrose (Cycling Otago) 18 pts
  15. Ruaraidh McLeod (Subway Cycling Team/U23) 16 pts


Women’s Classification;


  1. Nimesha Smith (BikeRIGHT) 18 points
  2. Karen Fulton (Star & Garter – Tasman) 10 pts
  3. Katri Laike (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) 10 pts
Star & Garter - Tasman team, Cust:

Dean Fulton Sen.
Jack Bauer Sen.
Al Dempsey Sen.
David Ayre U23
George Bennett U23
Kieran Hambrook U23
Brian Grant M1
Chris Nicholson M2
Karen Fulton Sen.

Supporting Star & Garter Wheelers

Paul Dowell M2
Mark McGinley M2
Paul Odlin Sen.
Rob Searle M2, Conal Sloan U23

Benchmark Homes Tour 08 - Round 2, Timaru 16/3

Chris Nicholson snatches a brilliant 2nd place, leads Masters Classment, McCauley wins. Four Star & Garter Wheelers in top 12.

Chris Nicholson's sprint to the line.

Chris being interviewed on the podium by Chief Commissaire Zac Prendergast.

Star and Garter Tasman Team and other club riders before the race begins, L to R Paul Dowell, Mark McGinley, Max Riley, Jack Bauer, David Ayre, Greg Scott, Chris Nicholson, Brian Grant, Jeannie Kuhajek.

Round Two Results: 'The Cyclery' Timaru

1. Gordon McCauley (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) 135km in 3hrs 22mins 13secs
2. Chris Nicholson (Star & Garter – Tasman/Master) at 13secs
3. Sam Horgan (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team/U23) same time
4. Paul Odlin (Village Cycles) st
5. Craig Lawn (Scott – Penny Farthing Cycles/Master) st
6. Tom Findlay (Subway Cycling Team/U23) st
7. Stephen Elden (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) st
8. Reon Park (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team/Master) st
9. Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team/U23) at 5mins 03secs
10. James Williamson (Subway Cycling Team/U23) at 6mins 43secs
11. Anthony Chapman (Lowe & Associates) st
12. Jack Bauer (Star & Garter – Tasman) st
13. Ashleigh Whitehead (Delmaine Fine Foods) st
14. Jonathon Gee (BikeRIGHT Cycling Team) st
15. Brendan Hart (Revolution Properties/Master) st

First Women;

1. Nimesha Smith (BikeRIGHT Cycling Team)
2. Sara MacDonald (Cycling Otago)
3. Katri Laike (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team)

Team Prize;

1. Benchmark Homes Cycling Team

Points Standing after Round Two (Provisional);

1. Gordon McCauley (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) 25 points
2. Marc Ryan (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) 25 pts
3. Sam Horgan (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team/U23) 23pts
4. Chris Nicholson (Star & Garter – Tasman/Master) 22pts
5. Jason Christie (Subway Cycling Team/U23) 22pts
6. Anthony Chapman (Lowe & Associates) 21pts
7. Darren Shea (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team/U23) 20pts
8. Paul Odlin (Village Cycles) 18pts
9. Shane Melrose (Cycling Otago) 18pts
10. Craig Lawn (Scott – Penny Farthing Cycles/Master) 16pts
11. Tom Findlay (Subway Cycling Team/U23) 15pts
12. Alex Meenhorst (Subway Cycling Team/U23) 14pts
13. Stephen Elden (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) 12pts
14. Brian Fowler (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team/Master) 12pts
15. Reon Park (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team/Master) 10pts
16. Stuart Lowe (Lowe & Associates/Master) 10pts
17. Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team/U23) 8pts
18. Andrew Widdup (Lowe & Associates) 8pts
19. James Williamson (Subway Cycling Team/U23) 6pts
20. Jonathon Gee (BikeRIGHT Cycling Team) 6pts
21. Tim Burtenshaw (Team Bay City/U23) 6pts
22. Brad McFarlane (Team Thule Cycling/Master) 5pts
23. Jack Bauer (Star & Garter – Tasman) 4pts
24. Ashleigh Whitehead (Delmaine Fine Foods) 3pts
25. Andrew Williams (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) 2pts
26. Brendan Hart (Revolution Properties/Master) 1pt

Women’s Classification;

1. Nimesha Smith (BikeRIGHT Cycling Team) 11 points
2. Sara MacDonald (Cycling Otago) 10pts
3. Tracy Clark (Team Thule Cycling) 10 points
4. Jeannie Kuhajek (Star & Garter – Tasman) 7pts
5. Katri Laike (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) 5pts
6. Laura Thompson (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) 5pts
7. Annalissa Farrell (Team Thule Cycling) 3pts
8. Carolyn Jenkins (Cycling Otago) 2pts

Star & Garter - Tasman Team - Jeannie Kuhajek, Jack Bauer, Greg Scott, Al Dempsey, David Ayre, Brian Grant, Chris Nicholson, also competing are Max Riley, Mark McGinley, and Paul Dowell

Click here for the Benchmark Tour Website , race details click 'The Rounds'

Benchmark Tour 08 - Round 1 - Yaldhurst to Oxford

Star & Garter - Tasman Team

Jack Bauer Sen., Greg Scott Sen., George Bennett U23, Kieran Hambrook U23, Jeannie Kuhajek Sen., Brian Grant M1, Mark McGinley M2.

A miserably cold, wet and blustery south westerly windy day faced the over 100 rider field in Round 1 of the Benchmark Homes Tour opener, making for a very tough course under the circumstances. Great rides by Jack Bauer who placed 16th, Brian Grant, George Bennett and Kieran Hambook all finished with the remnants of the bunch, and Jeannie Kuhajek got up to take a fine 2nd womens placing after being caught up in a rider tipoff caused by the early crosswind section of the Main West Coast Road. Mark McGinley was also caught out by the crosswind mele but ably assisted Jeannie to complete the ride. Greg Scott punctured with 30k to go on the fast tailwind section down to Cust and was unable to regain the bunch. All in all a very good effort put up by the Star & Garter - Tasman team, this being the first official outing riding in the new Tasman colours.

The race was won by Marc Ryan (Kelford-Reiker), 2nd Jason Christie (Subway) 3rd Darren Shea (Kelford-Reiker), with Tracey Clark (Thule) 1st woman. The Team category went to Kelford-Reiker, and Brian Fowler winning the Masters category.

Series win sought after  

The 2008 re-branded Benchmark Homes Tour commenced Saturday, February 16th at Yaldhurst, Christchurch.  The South Island-based eight round series has so far attracted ten teams committed to this year’s series, as well as a number of individual entrants whom many will be aspiring to win this sought after competition.

Last year’s series winner Paul Odlin will again be favoured to win after impressive stage wins in both the Tour de Vineyards and Trust House Cycle Classic earlier this year.  He will however start his title defence on the back-foot missing the Round one Benchmark Homes Classic because of national team duties in Malaysia.  With a change of team this year to Star & Garter - Tasman, Odlin will team-up with 2006 series winner Robin Reid.  The Nelson-based pairing will be hard to beat considering Reid’s impressive overall second placing in the Trust House event.

The 2005 winner Brian Fowler has remained with his Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team and will look to add to his record number of round wins (6) which he achieved during the first two editions.  Whilst Fowler will face tough competition from riders half his age for overall series honours, the Masters Classification is a realistic goal after last year winning the classification’s black jersey.

 Again the Benchmark Homes Cycling Team will place priority on winning the Team Classification it won last year, however will have stiff competition in Fowler’s Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team containing Marc Ryan and Reon Park; Odlin and Reid’s Star & Garter – Tasman Cycling Team containing former double-Olympian Chris Nicholson; Lowe & Associates containing former Tour of Southland winner and Team Principle Stuart Lowe, last year’s series third place-getter Joe Chapman, and Ashleigh Whitehead; and the Subway Cycling Team featuring Jeremy Yates, James Williamson, and Tom Findlay.  Like Odlin and Chapman, Yates will miss the first round whilst at the Tour of Langkawi. 

Both Williamson and Findlay will be contenders for the Under 23 Classification along with 2007 winner Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team), however these riders will be serious challengers for the overall title also.  Previous winners of the Category 2 Hummingbird Coffee Classic Edward Barrett (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) and Leon Hextall (Revolution Properties) are also expected to challenge for the Under 23 leader’s red jersey, which Barrett has previously worn following his Round two win last year.

Fowler’s competition for the Masters title will be from team-mate Reon Park; Lowe & Associate’s Stu Lowe, Darrell Kircher, and Lester Settle; and Thulé rider Barry Tinkler.    

This year’s Women’s Classification appears wide open.  The 2007 winner Tracy Clark will start as a favourite together with her Thulé team-mate Annalisa Farrell.  Main challengers will come from Laura Thompson and Donna Sibley (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team), Katri Laike and Josie Giddens (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team), and Nimesha Smith who will likely compete for the BikeRight team.

The format of the Benchmark Homes Tour is a series of 130 – 150km mass start road events, which the first fifteen place-getters at each round are awarded points.  The rider with the most points at series-end is awarded the title of the respective classification.  The 2008 series will conclude on October 18th after several rounds near Christchurch, and the remainder in Timaru, Hanmer Springs, and Nelson.  Any team or individual interested in competing in this year’s series can find details on the promoting Papanui Cycling Club’s website

Greg Hume, Series Manager

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