As the rain came down in town, the messages started coming in. Is the race still going ahead? Of course it is, I replied to all... and as we made our way out to Te Tipua the skies cleared.
Today's race was the two stage race at Te Tipua, sponsored by Lawn Mowing & Garden Maintenance Specialists. A big thanks to Craig Sadlier for this.
The numbers were poor today, with only having 22 riders -, maybe something to do with the weather in town. The first stage was, the beast of the East course, two laps of 25km.
A grade started first with the smallest field, coming in in ones. Corbin Strong was too strong for the old fellas, recording a time of 1:18. Mike Smith was 2nd and Garry Smith come in 3rd.
B grade was the biggest field and during the race a number of attacks went off the front, but no one was letting anyone get too far up the road. Young Sam Thornbury, who was racing his first Saturday road race, spent most of the time either off the front or working to get them back - a very impressive ride - a nd it was great to have Marthinas Hendriks racing today, who has moved down from Balclutha recently.
The race finished with a bunch sprint and Marthinas was far too strong for Fam today. Hayden Rankin rode a strong race today and came in in 3rd place.
C grade did their 2 laps in 1:35. Timmy Maynard was too strong for the rest of the bunch winning the sprint from Max Anderson and in 3rd place was today's sponsor Craig Sadlier.
The afternoon stage, A and B grade raced together around the New Vale Coal circuit. Young Corbin was allowed to ride away again after Garry had gone across but just couldn't keep with the young gun. Back in the bunch we saw some attacking from mostly Derek Tan and Andrew Lienert getting away for a good part of a lap. But with Marthinas, Neil Familton, Strongie, Hayden and Grant Colbran lapping it out, it looked like it was all under control. In the last 4 or so kms there was a couple of attacks from someone who had done nothing except sitting in for the most of it - slowly wearing down some already tired legs. Hitting the hill first, the attacker went out the arse very quickly, leaving the climbers to it. Coming home super strong was Fam and Andrew L, crossing the line in that order with Derek taking 3rd. Corbin won the A grade, with Mike too strong for Garry, finishing in the same order as the morning stage.
C grade had another good race, but when the top 3 climbed the hill for the last time, a tractor passed them and then held them up coming into the finish line. With none of them able to sprint for the line, they were all given 1st equal. Tim, Craig and Tony Raggett.
Combined results for the two stages were.
1st Neil F
Big thanks to Tracy Miller who helped out managing, so I could ride. (That will cost me a couple ciders). Crigs, for being there again, taking all the money and ticking everyone off. Great job, and all the Marshall's that stood on all the corners for us, so we could ride.
See you all at the Waikaka special next weekend.
Race report courtesy of race 'vice-manager' Red Burnett