Today's racing was split into two. Race 1: Riverton-Tuatapere. Then an hour for lunch at the Waiau Hotel. Race 2: Tuatapere-Riverton.
All grades set of for there long journey all in good spirits. At Otautau/Tautapere turn off A Grade were clearly pushing the pace with an additional 5:34mins ahead of B Grade. B grade the largest bunch are just cruising along. Ray Robbie did a lot of work on the front as they turn towards all the hills, theses will sort the boys from the men and throw in a couple women too. B grade had also increased there lead from C Grade by 3:08mins. C Grade only having 8 riders made for a busy day on the bike all taking their turns on the front.
Back to B Grade Wayne Miller hitting it hard on the hills with a long trail of riders on his wheel. Hamish Keast, Magnus and Jack Pedler now join B Grade as A Grade have gone mental and surging something wicked. The hills showing who's boss by dropping Dave S,Geoff & Makayla.
A Grade Tom Sexton was attacking on all hills. Brendan making a few goes too. With Josh Haggerty, Hayden Strong, Brendan Akeroyd, Tom Sexton & Mike White all banding together they were able to shake off the few remaining A Grade riders, Steve K, Josh van den Arend and Sam M. Tom broke away 1.5km from finish but Haggerty overtook him 200m from the finish line.
A Grade - 1hr 27mins
1 - Josh Haggerty
2 - Tom Sexton
3 - Brendan Akeroyd
The B Grade finish could of ended in disaster with everyone all still together trying to get the best line for the sprint finish. Thankfully everyone stayed upright.
B Grade - 1hr 37mins - 34kph average
1 -Neil Familton
2 -Aaron Sinclair
3 - Wayne Miller
C Grade had spat two riders out the back but majority were all together ready for the sprint as they approached the finish line. Nicola Stevens and Ben Worker were head to head. Very close finish and had to refer to camera footage to clarify who actually got the win. With only a tyre width between them.
C Grade - 1hr 44mins - 31.6kph average
1 -Nicola Stevens
2 - Ben Worker
3 - Sam Kopae
With some riders only wanting to ride the one race and new riders coming in for the second race ended up making A Grade the biggest field with B & C Grade smaller. Anyway off they went along the beautiful coastal route back to Riverton.
A Grade Hamish Keast broke away and the bunch were happy to leave him out there as they passed the cosy nook turn off. Corbin, Josh Haggerty eventually caught Hamish but Mike and Brendan weren't going to let those 3 get away so they towed the bunch back up to them leaving Steve Keast and Josh van den Arend behind. The boys worked hard and caught the main bunch again. Cat and mouse continued but it was all down to the final sprint.
1 - Josh Haggerty
2 - Corbin Strong
3 - Hamish Keast
B Grade Wayne Miller broke away early on with Grant Colbran hot on his tail eventually catching him, they settle in a routine and start working together. Ray Robbie again along with Dave Simpson on the front towing the bunch up the hill to rein in the break away but were unsuccessful. Derek Tan eventually decided he had had enough and he not only decided to attack on a hill but kept on going right past the break away, mind set on taking the win.
1 - Derek Tan
2 - Wayne Miller
3 - Grant Colbran
C Grade was pretty quite but Ben decided that he wouldn't leave it up to the camera finish so broke away at Orepuki and was never caught. Ben finished at least a good 1km infront of his fellow competitors.
1 - Ben Worker
2 - Josh Miller
3 - Allan Milne
Thank you to everyone who raced and helped out today. Without you guys this wouldn't be possible.