Invercargill elite cyclist Hamish Keast produced a strong sprint to take the title in Saturday’s Gore – Waikiwi cycling classic.
The annual handicapped event, sponsored by Southland Farm Machinery / Geo W Wilson & Sons, attracted a field of 48 riders with the race leaving Gore in pleasant spring-like conditions.
The limit bunch of Nicola Stevens, Colin Horton and Erin Criglington led the field a merry chase with Horton taking out the Hedgehope hill climb narrowly from Criglington. The trio continued to lead heading towards the turn at Springhills and it was evident that the strong scratch bunch, featuring Hamish Keast, Matt Zenovich, Kees Duyvesteyn were combining well to chase down the front bunches.
The westerly wind that was forecast for the duration of the race arrived as the riders turned at Springhills and the field was quickly coming together. The scratch riders turned on the power heading towards the Rakahouka hill and broke clear of the bunches that had merged. In the sprint to the line in McIvor Road, Keast broke clear to take the victory from Duyvesteyn with Matt Zenovich taking third place ahead of Josh Haggerty.
In the further placings Hunter Gough was the fastest junior finishing 5th, with Navarh Brotherston in 6th, Brendan Akeroyd in 7th was the fastest veteran and Hendre Knoetze was 8th. Erin Criglington was the first woman with Cecilia Crooks coming home in the fastest time.
It was another great race for the junior handicap Springhills to Waikiwi at 32km on the same day as the seniors ran their classic Gore to Waikiwi. Due to distance the juniors also had the U17 riders in the mix which meant the split in time ranged to nearly 30 min.
First place was taken out by George Manson who rode a great race. Jacob Fitzsimons was second place beating his brother Mitchel who took out 3rd. Fastest female was Rhylee Akeroyd with Mitchel also taking out fastest male in the juniors, in a time of 52min 26 sec from U15 Marshall Erwood in 54.56.1 and Morgan Borrie in 56.06 and Ronan Shearing in 4th on 57.48.
Thank you to all those that helped today, it is always really appreciated. It was good to test out the timing gear on the junior racing in readiness for Yunca meaning we can iron out any tweaks.