Saturday's road race was blessed with warm, sunny and calm conditions. Foty riders signed up for the 70km handicap event.
Nice to see some Central Otago riders Hamish McHugh-Smith and Jordan Gilmore down to race for their build up to the Tour of Southland.
Seven groups set off with 23 minutes separating them from front to back. All the groups started off strongly working together, within the first 20km limit and 2nd limit had grouped together as well as the mid groups.
A strong break group of our senior riders kept a good average speed through the half way mark keeping the young group of Scratch riders away.
Scratch was made up of our very strong junior riders Corbin Strong and Hamish Keast, along with Tom Sexton , Blake Tait-Jones, Fraser Hewitt and Josh Haggerty who are all looking forward to the SBS Bank Tour of Southland. They worked their tails off to finally catch break who were pushing as hard as they could as well. This meant at the 40km mark there were effectively three groups on the road with single dropped riders sprinkled between them.
It was then that the hills towards Castle Downs kicked up and things started get to get interesting. The time gap between from front to back was eight minutes which looked like an impossible task. A very fast decent front the top of Castle Downs was topic of conversation after the event, some bragging top speeds reaching 99kph.
At the 10km to go mark and coming off the hills towards the flat finish the mid group riders were finally caught by combined Scratch and break who were chasing a five minute gap to the leaders. It was all on to try catch the front, this broke the spirit of those who didn't have the fitness and ended up being Tanya White’s followers.
Up at the front 2km to go Eddie Griffiths broke clear and looked strong eventually winning the race, and there was a nice sprint for the minor money with Tim Maynard coming in 2nd and Hamish Murie 3rd the rest of the field sprinted in only 1min 39sec behind. A good day was had by all in nice sunny conditions. Thanks to our ever present Lindsay Tait-Jones STMS and those wives/mums who corner marshalled.
1st Eddie Griffiths, 1hr 55min 10sec; 2nd Tim Maynard, 3rd, Hamish Murie
Fastest Time: Corbin Strong 1hr 39min 01sec.
Report courtesy of your race manager extraordinaire Waine Harding