Hayden Rankin headed a big bunch sprint to take line honours in the Cycling Southland road race on Saturday.
The handicapped race sponsored by Team Black Coaching, was raced over two laps of the Thornbury-Fairfax circuit and, in spite of a smaller field than usual, brought about by the Calder Stewart road series race in Dunedin plus the unavailability of riders preparing for this week’s age group track championships, the race was competitive from the outset. All bunches worked together well and at the commencement of second lap, it was evident that the majority of the field would be together for the sprint finish into Thornbury.
The scratch bunch, consisting of Derek Tan, Finlay Wall, Andrew Leinert and Steve Rhodes, were making gradual progress and within 12km of the finish, had the leading bunch in their sights. However the combined lead bunch rode determinedly to hang on and into the finishing straight, the big bunch fragmented somewhat as the sprinters came to the front. Hayden Rankin outlasted a determined finish by Aaron Sinclair with Wally Kopae and Steve Wilson taking third and fourth place respectively. Derek Tan led the scratch bunch in to take fastest time in the event and finish only 1 minute 10 seconds behind the overall winner.
1. Hayden Rankin (break) – time 1 hour 13 minutes 05 seconds
2. Aaron Sinclair (break)
3. Wally Kopae (2nd break)
4. Steve Wilson (break)
Derek Tan (scratch) - 1 hour 12 minutes 30 seconds
The junior event resulted in a win to Jack McLeod, with Caitlin Kelly and Jaz McLeod taking the minor placings.
Thanks again to Team Black Coaching for the sponsorship of the events and to our officials on the day - Mitchel Fitzsimons, Brook Armishaw, Lindsay Jones, Dave Rogers and Robin Criglington.
Bruce Ross - Manager