Date: Sunday, 17 February 2013
Posted by: Cycling Southland

SouthPort Crit Series Round 1 - A GradeSunday dawned lovely and calm (as opposed to the gale force winds Saturday has offered!), so a perfect day for a blast around at the 1st of the Southport Criterium Series races on the new Bill Richardson Drive / Woolstore Circuit.

First up were the Juniors, with a strong C Grade field setting off at a fast and furious pace, with Maddy Gough unleashing an impressive early sprint, holding off the chasers to take the win and the styley green Leader’s jersey.

The A & B Juniors were combined, and it was fantastic to see some of the up and coming B Graders hanging in there with the ‘big boys’, with Corbin Strong taking out the B Grade Race from a rapidly improving Samuel Miller and speedy Taz O’Connell.  In the A Grade, in a fantastic display of sprinting, Tom Sexton took the win by a few millimetres from Hayden Strong, with another up & comer Josh Officer taking out 3rd place.

SouthPort Crit Series Round 1 - B GradeIn the Senior Grades, Glen Ferguson took out the D Grade from Andy Whyte (who won the ‘most helpful rider of the day award’ for Marshalling when he wasn’t racing!) in a field we hope will grow in numbers as the series continues!

In C Grade, Daryl Haggerty showed his exceptional Criterium racing ability taking the win in a close finish from Gary Perkins and Grant Colbran.

B Grade was the biggest field of the day, and the pace was high for the whole 35 minutes of racing.  Anton O’Connell raced aggressively, and Bruce Jones bided his time for an impressive late attack, only to be reeled in on the last lap, with Stu MacDonald taking out the sprint from Vaughan Edie and Bruce hanging on for 3rd.

SouthPort Crit Series Round 1 - C GradeA Grade was a small, but quality field, with Matt Zenovich taking a clean sweep for the weekend, winning the race itself and then the $100 Spot Prize, courtesy of South Port. Hot on his heels was in inform Josh Haggerty, with Masters Extraordinaire Mike White taking out 3rd place. An un-timely puncture from Garry Smith putting him out of contention for the finale.

Thanks to everyone for a good morning of racing!  Of course a huge thank you goes out to South Port for the sponsorship (and thanks to Bruce Jones for organising this with them!).

Also, thank you to the legend that is Waine Harding for all his help, energy and enthusiasm, Andy Whyte for helping out with Marshalling, Robin Criglington (who came to watch, but everyone starting handing him money, so he ending up taking over the registration!) and everyone else who lent a hand during the day. 

Finally, please note that there will not be a Criterium on February 24th as originally advertised.  The next Criterium will be on the same circuit on March 17th, followed by the 3rd race in the Series on March 24th (if we run a 4th race in the series it will follow the Club Road Nationals in Mid-April)  

Keep up the good work team!

SOUTHPORT CRIT SERIES LEADERS

SouthPort Crit Series Round 1 Series Leaders

SouthPort Crit Series Round 1 Junior Series Leaders

Seniors:
A Grade - Matt Zenovich (left); B Grade - Stu MacDonald (right); C Grade - Daryl Haggerty; D Grade - Glen Ferguson (both not pictured)
Juniors:
A Grade - Tom Sexton (centre); B Grade - Corbin Strong (right); C grade - Madeleine Gough (left)

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