A gusty, blustery Saturday made for some challenging conditions that really tested the field during the relatively flat 46km Waianiwa Circuit on Saturday.
All grades appeared to start fast and furious, but settled down after a few km's with only t only the brave or crazy attempting to break away.
A Grade pace was a bit hot for some early on, however the relentless work of Dylan Bennett, Brad Tuhi and Brehan Cairns finally cracked a few in the last 10km. The final sprint was fought out by those who survived.
B Grade was ridden in much the same manner with Bruce Jones, Alan Strong and Geoff Van Dam doing their best to drop anyone who was struggling. Although it was tough conditions, the majority of riders managed to stay together for a big bunch finish! It was a close sprint finish with 10 or more riders contesting line honours.
C Grade had the majority of riders working together for some of the race, with attacks at crucial times (hitting the head wind) from Andy Mac, Max Anderson and Dave Simpson stretching some to the limit! As in all the other grades the not-so-fit riders tailed off. The sprint was fought out in good hard fashion, Jeff Clearwater went early only to get pipped on the line.
All and all a good "hit-out" for the first senior race of 2012.
Waianiwa 46km Graded Road Race
Dillon Bennett 1, Brad Tuhi 2, Brehan Cairns 3
Wayne Miller 1, Rikki Griffin 2, Aaron Sinclair 3
Andrew Holden 1, Jeff Clearwater 2, Max Anderson
Mary Marshall 1, Helen McKenzie 2, Ffion Muhl 3