The fields contesting both the Junior and Open Invercargill to Browns Road races had to contend with energy-sapping winds throughout their respective events.
A field of 31 took part in the open event with 6 bunches in the handicap event.
As the head/ side wind continued to build in momentum across Rakahouka and Springhills, so did the pressure being put on by the 3 scratch markers.
Rhylee Akeroyd was the last rider captured through the rolling hills by Matt Zenovich, Josh Haggerty, Hamish Keast. Hanging in with the scratch group were break riders Mike White, Fraser Hewitt and Mitchel Fitzsimmons.
As they turned to head to Browns, Zeno went solo opening 300m on the fast disintegrating bunch. This was an impressive effort considering he had had a mechanical earlier in the race and had to stop to make repairs.
It was Keast who was able to respond and claw his way across to the leader.
Entering onto the grass track the two had the finish to themselves, with Keast proving the stronger of the two up the home straight.
In doing so securing 1st and fastest time. The 1 hour 3minute time for the 36km event reflecting the extremely challenging conditions on the day.
A fine ride by junior rider Fitzsimons to take 3rd from Josh Haggerty 5th Fraser Hewitt 6th. Michael White 7th Hayden Rankin 8th Rhylee Akeroyd 9th Hamish Beadle 10th Neil Familton
Ronan Shearing completed a good day out on the bike with a win in the Junior road race from Marshall Erwood. Then securing a win in the prestigious Ray O’Connor Memorial 3 lap grass track race.
Others to feature on the grass track were the Sharp brothers going head to head down the straight in their opening junior race. Maclean put the hours of watching Peter Sagan clips to use with a well timed throw of the bike to the line to pip Connor.
Frankie Thomson looked a natural grass track specialist in taking out the Junior 800m.
Gavin Mason was consistent all day with placing across all of the races. While road race winner Hamish Keast rode strongly all day long as the sole scratch rider taking two 3rds, 2nd and a win in the elimination.
Thanks to all of the volunteers that assisted both on the road and grass track racing. Our thanks once again to the Browns Sports Society and the various sponsors.
A note for all riders, if you are scratching from an event (both track and road) it is courtesy to inform the race organisers particularly as this can affect the handicapping of a race and ultimately those competing.
Race Report: Julian Ineson