Cycling: Kiwi prodigy James Fouche storms to national road race title

Promising young cyclist James Fouche has bolted to an emphatic victory at the men's elite road national championships in Napier.

The 20-year-old crossed the finish line over three minutes ahead of his nearest rival at the 166km course to claim the most prestigious prize of his career to date.

Fouche said it was a pretty special feeling to emerge ahead of a formidable pack - which included the likes of George Bennett and Paddy Bevin - to back up his win in the Under-23 time trial on Friday. 

"I love racing with those boys," Fouche told Newshub. "They've all helped me along the way, which I'm very grateful for."

Part of an initial breakaway group, Fouche pulled away from the pack during the ascents of 'Hospital Hill' and never looked back.

"I wanted to build a big lead going into the last climb up the hill....it was bloody tough.

"I've been doing quite a bit of work over the past few months on short, steep hills for this race."

The Team Wiggins rider has been competing across Europe's age-group circuit over the past year, where he signalled himself as one to watch for the future.

He now has his sights set on a return to Europe, in particular the Nations Cup and Tour of Flanders in Belgium with the New Zealand national team.

Invercargill's Tom Scully took out the overall Elite honours, ahead of Bevin and Waikato teammate Hayden McCormick.

Newshub.