A small, but committed group of break riders managed to stay away from the fast-closing scratch bunch in the 74km Gore to Invercargill classic on Saturday.
With 89 starters on the line in Gore for the long-running handicap race, the decision to shift the event from it's traditional Thursday night time to a Saturday morning was justified.
Grant Colbran (1hr 49min 58sec) sprinted home the break riders who hard worked hard together to battle the strong winds the race encountered after a relatively benign start in Gore.
Work commitments and a hand injury had meant it was Colbran's first race in eight months.
Darryl Haggerty was second, with Shirlene Rollo third.
The scratch bunch came home in hot pursuit and had reached speeds of up to 60kmh during the chase, with Commonwealth Games rider Tom Scully prominent.
Justin Stott sprinted Scully to the line to take fastest time honours in 1:28.10.
Gabby Vermunt was the fastest woman, although there was no official time for her, while Tom Sexton was the fastest junior in 1:34.10.
Sexton was prominent again during the second night of racing at the ILT-sponsored New Year track cycling, coming from the scratch mark to win the Cycling Southland open wheel race final from Patrick Jones and Brayden Stephens.
Jackson Ogle won the prestigious OJ Henderson wheel race for under 17 boys and girls from Matt Pidcock and Matthew Trenchard.
The under 15 boys and girls wheel race was won by Sami Donnelly, ahead of Abe O'Donnell and Navarh Brotherstone.
Jones was to the fore in the criterium racing at the Ascot Park Hotel, winning the A grade race from Sexton and Hayden Strong.
In blustery conditions, 76 starters took part in some frantic racing and big bunch sprints, with Michael White winning B grade from Craig Domigan and Steve Brough.
C grade honours went to Tom Hammington from Darryl Haggerty and Ella Harris.
In the junior racing, division one was won by Kain Bowles from Samuel Miller and Corbin Strong.
Ava Morrow won the division two race from Brotherstone and Connor Leov.
Results from the 2015 Gore to Invercargill Classic
1st Grant Colbran 1:55:05
2nd Daryl Haggerty
3rd Shirlene Rollo
4th Wayne Murchland
5th Sam Kopae
Fastest time- Justin Stott 1:28:15
Fastest Junior - Tom Sexton 1:34:18
Fastest Female - Gabby Vermunt 1:43:35
Article and photo courtesy The Southland Times