It’s a classic race which is steeped in tradition, with some very prestigious winners from the past. What wasn’t traditional about this year’s race is the weather, no screaming Westerly head wind to contend with! That would have been a relief for many of the 40 riders who signed up to battle for their place in the history books.
Racing started off with a small Limit group of three, the balance of riders were divided into six groups, with scratch setting off 29min behind. All groups stayed together through to Mataura, only Dave Simpson (who had a mechanical) and Max Anderson (who missed his start) who were out on their own. At the Mataura hill climb things began to string out a bit but determination and perseverance paid off for some and bunches regrouped
Scratch (5riders) lost one early on but never slowed throughout the entire race, the strength of Cam, Mat, Josh and Liam was impressive. By half way the break group (7 riders) had caught 2nd break and they set a strong pace, there were strong performances from Derek Tan, Alistair Burnett, Neil Familton and Vaughan Edie through to the Springhills turn off.
It was along the rollers of Springhills that Scratch hauled in the break bunches, the pace increased hugely to try drop anyone struggling but it wasn’t to be. They were some heavy breathing that was for sure.
All this time limit riders Sam Kopae, Jan Brosnahan and Jen Muhl were still maintaining a good rhythm out front.
Stronger riders attacked on Rakahouka Hill, but they failed to dislodge many, by the time the 2nd Limit group turned on to Lorneville-Dacre Highway the chasing bunch could see them. It was a good team effort by all groups, everyone appeared to be sharing their turns on the front to keep the speed up. With 18kms to go limit riders were caught by the chasing group, Seir Vermunt, Tony Raggert, Erin Criglington had a strong day on the bike.
Turning on to Mill Road there were two big groups in the race, (the hard working Scratch and Break riders) and the (Limit, 2nd Limit and Mid group) it wasn’t until McIvor Road that everything came together. The fast speed leading into the last kms dropped a few but set up an exciting sprint finish.
The picnic prizegiving was a nice way to unwind and share stories. Hard luck Jeff Clearwater who took a tumble in the final stages hope you recover well and we see again soon. Welcome along Anthony Garvey new to the region and to the Otago riders Jan Brosnanhan and Elyse Fraser.
Congratulations to everyone who competed!
1st Nick Kergozou 6th Derek Tan
2nd Josh Haggerty (Fastest time) 7th Anton O’Connell
3rd Vaughan Edie 8th Alan Strong
4th Alistair Burnett 9th Sier Vermunt
5th Geoff Van Dam 10th Neil Familton
Laura Fairweather (fastest female)