Invercargill cyclist Hamish Beadle again highlighted the importance of never giving up when he produced an impressive come-from-behind surge to narrowly pip Josh Haggerty on the finish line in the hotly-contested Gore to Waikiwi Classic on Saturday.
More than 40 riders lined up in the 78-kilometre George Wilson and Sons/Southland Farm Machinery Gore to Waikiwi Classic cycle race, run by Cycling Southland, with a shorter junior race also run.
Some solid racing by all the groups in the handicapped race meant the final placings were decided by who had enough energy remaining. While Luke Macpherson and Matt Zenovich, both preparing for the
SBS Bank Tour of Southland, were hot favourites before the race, neither could make enough of a break to give them a chance in the final run to the finish.
Most of the groups came together on the Lorneville-Dacre Highway, with Zenovich beginning his attacks from there.
That proved too much for some riders and only the strongest were left chasing him down.
Turning into McIvor Rd, Josh Haggerty decided it was his time to attack and was in the lead for more than 1500m but Beadle's gutsy last effort sprint took the title.
Beadle, who races for Team Novo Nordisk in the United States, said the race was good preparation for the upcoming Tour.
"I'm not sure how I got there in the end – better legs I guess. But they'd been riding scratch all day so were pretty popped. It was a bit cat and mouse at the end. I stuck to Matt Zenovich's wheel because I knew he was looking pretty strong.
His plan had been to push whatever group he was in and try to catch the group in front and then "see what happened from there".
The extra training he has been doing lately proved vital for that final sprint.
"I've been riding the bike quite a bit. I went up and did a tour in Timaru and then stayed on in Christchurch training with some of the local guys up there."
Beadle will remain in Invercargill training for the Tour of Southland where he'll race in the Business South team.
"From there I'll just see what happens with my team in the US and where things go from there."
Hamish Beadle, 2:16:38, 1; Josh Haggerty, (fastest time 1:48:38), 2; Mike White, (first veteran– Noel Eade Memorial Trophy); Brent Allnut, 4; Luke Macpherson, 5; Matt Zenovich, 6; Jonathan Leonard, 7; Alastair Burnett, 8. First woman: Sophie-Leigh Bloxham (first junior); Liz Williamson, 2.
Junior race: U13: Ciara Kelly, 1; Oliver Borrie, 2; Hamish Barlow, 3. U15 and U17: Jade Cameron, 1; Hayley Paterson, 2; Jake Willis, 3. Fastest time: Navarh Brotherston
Caption: Hamish Beadle, left, coming through to out sprint Josh Haggerty, on right, to win the Gore to Waikiwi Classic cycle race on Saturday.
Photo courtesy Robyn Edie