There was an entertaining days racing at the Labour Weekend Retreat Road event. It was a points race with the usual 5, 3, 2 and 1 points awarded each lap. Numbers were a little low which was to be expected with the long weekend and the last round of the Calder Stewart series being held in Christchurch which saw small but competitive fields. Weather was great with no adverse conditions to content with apart from the sun!
Only 5 competed in the A grade – the first 2 laps had the whole field contesting the sprints before Matt Zenovich and Fraser Hewett decided enough was enough and put the hammer down which saw them eventually lapping the C-grade field that started 3 minutes behind them on the 10kg circuit. Matt and Fraser shared the sprints before Matt finally cracked Fraser for the last splint to win with a total of 23 points to Fraser’s 21. Josh Van den Arend took out the hotly contested 3rd place with 12 points from Blake Tait-Jones. Time for the 63km was 1 hour and 34 minutes.
B-grade had the biggest field of the day and once again the contest was keenly fought. Grant Colburn, on his come back from injury, took out the first sprint before Andrew Lienert took it to the field and won the 2, 3,and fourth sprints (with a little assistance from Wally Kopae before he blew up and went home early!). Shane Fletcher won the last 2 sprints to finish a close 2nd with 15 points from Andrew’s 19. Grant Colburn finished 3rd with 9 points. Apologies to Steve Sanderson and Hayden Rankin who were credited with 3rd and 4th on race day and to Grant for his well-earned but not announced 3rd. Got a bit excited with the dramas of the day! Time for the 6 laps was 1 hour 45min.
C-grade was keenly contested as well with 2 of the very young guys stepping up from the junior ranks to have a crack at the older guys. Josh Miller won the first 2 sprints but cracked on the 3rd and ended up baling but Hunter Gough (who had just got his arm out of a cast the day before from a suspected broken elbow) took up the challenge and just about took out the victory. The 5 lap race saw him finish in second place on every sprint. It was his longest ever bike ride and showed his promise for the years to come. A fast finishing Craig Sadlier took out the last 3 sprints to see a win with 17 points from Hunter’s 15. Alan Milne finished in 3rd with 5 points. Time for the 52.6km 5 laps was 1 hour 34 min.
Just a small field for the juniors that completed 2 laps. Lachie Baird, in his first Saturday race, won both the sprints to take out first place from Quinn Naylor and Morgan Borrie.
The day had some great racing but had a few dramas that you never like to see. Two crashes- one before racing resulting in a fractured finger to Tayla Lumsden and an unfortunate incident that saw Derek Tan come off in the corner leading in to the first sprint resulting in a broken collar bone. Get well you guys!
Thanks as usual to the marshals ( Mum talking to you yet Sam Miller!) , Lindsay for the course set out and of course the riders- no riders = no race!
Report courtesy of race manager extraodinaire Neil Familton