Saturday's race was run on the, now legendary, Beast of the East Circuit, in ideal racing conditions.
Fifty five riders across the senior grades participated in this race with all Grades feeling the effect of the combination of Hills and Wind. The Summery conditions made most riders forget the toughness of the circuit, and instead concentrated on the positive aspects of the day. All senior Grades raced 2 laps of the circuit from Te Tipu to Glencoe circuit which included one very long climb.
A combined C and D grade disintegrated over the course with the only two remaining from the small D grade field deciding the result with a gutsy sprint, between two sisters. Kylie Gough piped her sister Nicola Stevens at the line and took the win.
In the main field an early split determined the final outcome with 5 riders arriving for a sprint at the end. Alan Milne third, Andrew Holden in 2nd and Gary Stedman taking the honours in a time of 1.26.
The B grade field was split before the half way mark with three B grade riders forming a concessive break. The break included 3 Veteran Riders Darryl Cleghorn, Derek Tan and Shane Fletcher. After a lap the gap was approaching a minute. By the end of the race the gap had opened up more. A tight sprint saw Tan win in a time of 1.20:39 just piping Fletcher for the win with Cleghorn right on their heels. The remainder of the field were will dispersed.
In the A grade race there was an early break including Tom Vessey, Dillon Bennett and Matt Zenovich. After one lap these three held a one minute gap, but the race lead was to change dramatically by the end.
Aggressive riding by Tom Vessey from Te Anau, saw him ride away from the other two to win, on his own, looking very comfortable in a time of 1.14. Matt Zenovich, also finished on his own when he / came in in second place two minutes later. The third member of the original break rolled in 30 seconds later with company, but wasn’t able to feature in the placings. Pieter Bulling made a strong sprint to secure third spot.
The prize-giving was held afterwards at the school. A thanks to all those who stayed around and waited for the arrival of the junior riders. A great day of racing from where I stood.
Race manager on the day
Special thanks to the marshalls. Its great to see Mothers, Fathers, Children and Grandchildren of riders out there helping run races, so that their family can participate.
Special thanks to Robin Criglington for his awesome support.