Sunshine and a strong south-westerly confronted 39 riders at H&J Smith Outdor World's mercifully short 48km race at Waianiwa on Saturday.
A small field of six A grade riders lit off into the undulations and cross winds, with Josh "no holding me back" Haggerty and Luke "the machine" Macpherson soon leaving the pack in their wake to a sprint finish with Josh edging Luke out by a wheel (his front one!) in 1hour 21' 11". A strong ride by Sam Miller saw him outspring Jordan "you gave me a cruel handicap at Moa Flat last week" Gilmore from Cromwell for 3rd.
A large B grade field kept each other honest on the upwind beat to Drummond and the pressure didn't relent in the tail cross wind on the way home, with young pups and grizzled campaigners striving for an edge. Four escaped 6km from home and Red "the bullet" Burnett kept young Hayden "stronger than Dad" Strong at bay in the charge to the line, with even younger pup Corbin Strong edging Simon Callaghan for 3rd, all finishing in 1 hour 20'18".
C grade saw a willing bunch of "experienced" riders exercising some caution into the wind early on, but they took no prisoners on the way home and in the charge to line Wally "the recovered winged Warrior" Kopae left his mates chasing, followed up by Daryl "the bridesmaid is becoming a bad habit."
Haggerty 2nd, Grant Colbran 3rd from Max "the mail always gets through" Anderson in 1 hour 32' 24".
In a day of "if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger" weather, thanks for another week of Robin Criglington's stirling (excuse the pun) Treasury services, the Wallacetown pub for their shelter and re-hydration and H&J Smiths Outdoor for the sponsor.