A fabulous Southland day greeted riders for the Grove Bush Road Race on Saturday over 76kms, with 70 riders making the most of an excellent day out in the sun.
A 15-strong Division 1 field set off at break neck speed, resulting in the bunch quickly splintering. A group of six riders had established a solid lead after the 1st lap of 38kms, including local heroes Cam Karwowski, Pieter Bulling, Josh Haggerty, up and coming Masters rider Brendan Akeroyd, Australian import Sean Finning and the rising young star, Tom Sexton.
More action on the final lap and a mechanical for Finning, meant there were four riders left for the finale. A sprint finish saw in form double silver medallist from the recent Junior World Track Championships, Josh Haggerty, taking the win from Cam Karwowski, Pieter Bulling and an absolutely phenomenal ride from 14-year-old Tom Sexton for 4th.
It was again the young guns to the fore in Division 2, with Dave Beadle (doing his bit for the more mature section of the bunch) hunted down in the closing stages after a solo breakaway, and Brayden Stephens and Hamish Beadle seizing the lull in action to attack the final time up the Rakahouka Hill, quickly establishing a good lead and holding off the large chasing bunch. Stephens eventually taking the win from Beadle, with Rikki Griffin taking out the bunch sprint for 3rd place.
The theme of the young and restless continued in Division 3, with a group of young riders (Will Sutherland, Corbin Strong, Jack Pedler and Samuel Miller) establishing a small gap after the first lap. While the bunch did reform, in-form U15 rider Samuel Miller eventually took the win in an excellent sprint finish, from Grant Colburn and Grant Toomey.
Division 4 was won in another sprint finish by another youngster, Jack Cannon, from Danielle Parry and Jane Donaldson. Unfortunately there was a crash during the race, so we wish those injured a speedy recovery. Full credit must go to young Lachlan Graham, who was riding very strongly, but sacrificed his race to lend his phone at the scene of the accident, and then had to wait for its return while the rest of the bunch set off on their way, but still continued to finish the race.
All up, it was an excellent day of racing and a huge thank you must go out to Marshalls Paul Sexton and Craig Sadlier, as well as our STMS Lindsay Jones, Robin Criglington for organising sign in, race manager Lynette Mattingly, and all those who lent a hand on the day.
Next weekend – September 7th/8th is a double banger weekend, with races at Rimu on Saturday and at Waianiwa on Sunday. Looking forward to seeing everyone out there for hopefully another sunny weekend!
Grove Bush Road Race - Full Results
1 Josh Haggerty
2 Cameron Karwowski
3 Pieter Bulling
4 Tom Sexton
1 Brayden Stephens
2 Hamish Beadle
3 Rikki Griffin
4 Andrew Lienert
1 Samuel Miller
2 Grant Colburn
3 Grant Toomey
4 Laura Heywood
1 Jack Cannon
2 Danielle Parry
3 Jane Donaldson
4 Waine Harding