Rimu School was the scene for another battle against not only other riders but also our dreaded wind! Local stalwart Peter Grandiek informed us that it would stop at 3pm, no good for the 71 riders including juniors about to set out on the 30km course. Most of them were going to be finished by then, thanks Pete!
Div 1 (11 riders) set off on their three lap journey at a furious pace into the head wind, at the first turn Cam Karwowski put the pressure on and split the group into two. He dragged Pieter Bulling, Mat Zeno, Rob Huisman, Luke Macpherson, Josh Haggerty and Alex McGregor away to leave the remaining riders to fight on with their own battle. Sprints every lap for points down to fourth place were hard fought. Cam had a powerful ride winning all three sprints.
Minor points weren’t so dominated, at the completion of racing only three points separated the 2nd to 4th placing. Pieter Bulling had some hard luck in the final stages with a mechanical. Final placing Cam Karwowski 1st (15 points), Josh Haggerty 2nd (6 points), Mat Zenovich 3rd (5 points). The other battle with the remaining Div 1 riders was fought out to the end. Garry Smith won honours over Anton O’Connell, Rikki Griffin and Derek Tan - a good effort fellas it was one of those never give up days!
Div 2 (15 riders) This grade was a little more reserved from the start. Everyone appeared to be happy to share the work from the beginning, it wasn’t until the tail wind that things went a bit crazy! Someone said they had a 57kph top speed downwind! Definitely a tough ask for anyone who hadn’t been doing some speed training. DNF’s appeared to be higher in this grade. Eight in total maybe testament to the high speeds or the nasty cross winds that weren’t giving anyone shelter.
Stu MacDonald was strong throughout the ride, he was tested early on by Steve Keast and Alister Burnett but couldn’t maintain it. Aaron Sinclair and Blake Tait-Jones warmed into the race and finished strongly collecting some hard earned points. Sprints for minor placing’s were shared around closely. Andrew Lienert was another rider who relished the conditions he to was in good form and managed to feature in the close finishes. Final placing - 1st Stu MacDonald (11 points), 2nd = Blake Tait-Jones (5 points), 2nd = Andrew Lienert (5 points), 4th Aaron Sinclair (3 points)
Div 3 (15 riders) it was the changes on our leader board that saw a strong field leave the start line at a quick pace. Old timers Max Anderson and Sid Cumming were always going to test the fitness of other riders. Some solid turns on the front by Sid, Grant Colburn and Craig Sadlier pushed the pace along nicely. It was the cross wind that inflicted the damage for some. At the first sprint after a long drag into the wind, Sid was rolled on the line.
Tony Raggert was another rider who warmed into the race and contributed well on the second lap. Any weakness today was soon exposed in the cross wind, nowhere to take cover. Another relatively new rider to Southland road racing Adrian Latta who has stepped up from Div 4 rode well and picked up some points in the final sprint, nice work Adrian!
Div 4 (7 riders) - an all-female group - set off into the head wind quite reserved about how best to approach the challenge. A group of four riders established a solid lead after the first 13kms. The group of four eventually dropped one rider, the wind proving difficult to compete with. Helen McKenzie and Nicola Stephens battled the intermediate sprint not once but twice after some confusion to where the sprint finish was, Nicola came out the winner of that one.
The fight for the final sprint was a good one, newcomer Danielle Parry and Nicola Stevens fought hard for second place. Helen got clear 500mtr out and hung on to take the win. It was the fight for second that Danielle won ahead of Nicola. Final placing = 1st Helen McKenzie (8 points), 2nd Nicola Stevens (7points), 3rd Danielle Parry (5 points)
It was a tough day on the bike today, it was pleasing to not get any complaints about riders crossing the centre line. Well done everyone, it wouldn’t have been easy in those cross winds. Keep it up!
A summary of the Series Points can be viewed here for anyone keeping a tally. Leaders in the respective grades are as follows: Div 1 Mat Zenovich, Div 2 Aaron Sinclair, Div 3 Tim Maynard, Div 4 Nicola Stevens
Thanks to the Marshalls of the day and Lindsay Tait-Jones.
Another special big thank you to Peter Grandiek for his generosity and to Rimu School for putting on the BBQ for our hungry riders.
Report courtesy of our super duper race manager Waine Harding