Ending season on high: Queenstown's Brett Strachan, centre, on the podium in Rotorua with Materton's Peter James (2nd) and Wayne Bennie, of Counties Manukau (3rd)


Covid-19 concerns are likely to put paid to Central Otago-Wakatipu Cycling Club member Brett Strachan’s chances of competing against the world’s best 65-to-69-year-olds.

Queenstowner Strachan, 65, recently took out the 60.8km road race age group title at the
New Zealand champs at Rotorua, which entitles him to compete in the UCI Gran Fondo World Cup champs in East Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in October.

But Strachan tells Mountain Scene he has doubts about travelling to Europe with Covid-19 not yet under control.

‘‘The Covid thing over there’s still major.

‘‘So, at the moment I’m thinking, no, I probably won’t.’’

Strachan’s finished the New Zealand cycling season on a high, winning not only the national event at Rotorua but also one at Blenheim and another at Lake Brunner on the way home.

A keen mountain biker, 10 years ago Strachan took up road cycling as well because there’s more regular competitive events on the calendar.

In the Rotorua race, he got a helping hand from Alexandra team mate John Alabaster, who’d already won the time trial in their age group.

On the winding Rotorua road race course, Alabaster did what he could to slow the 37-rider field once Strachan made a break.

‘‘If you can’t see the person on the road, you don’t know how far they are ahead.

‘‘If they can see you, they’ve got a target like the hare and the hounds, and they are going
to track you down.

‘‘With so many twists and curves, it was just the perfect course to try and sneak away.’’