The Southland District Council is the 2012 Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit champion after its foursome of Cherie Champion, Adrian Buddle, Jamie Cunningham and rider/coach Mark Day combined to ride to four victories throughout today's knock-out Finals at the Stadium Southland Velodrome.
After qualifying fastest in last weekend's grading time trial the SDC combination held its form throughout the day to take out Division One from Calder Stewart Roofing, who had to be content with second place for the second year in a row.
Racing opened with two qualifying rides for the bottom four teams in Division Two with PowerNet and BMAC Sheetmetal qualifying for the Division Two Round of 16 courtesy of contrasting victories. PowerNet just held off the ILT Heineken 2 team by 0.3 seconds while BMAC ripped out of the blocks to record 1:20.383, nearly seven seconds faster than their effort on time trial day, to beat McIntyre Dick & Partners by over four seconds.
Next up the Division One battle commenced with the first of the knock-out rounds. Southland District Council fired an early warning shot nearling catching the Southland Times in the first round of 16 ride with the paper crew intent just to finish to save energy for the Plate competition. Opus advanced with a slender half second victory over Southroads while EIS Group showed promise shaving another couple of seconds off their grading time. The first upset of the day was claimed by BNZ who knocked off fourth-qualifier Fonterra with a blistering 1:16 - more than six seconds faster than their ride the week before. Preston Russell Law also dipped under 1:20 in its win over WHK while Calder Stewart Roofing showed it meant business with the fastest time of the Round of 16 - a 1:16.335 in comfortably disposing of Westpac. The Police unit won through to the quarters over ILT Heineken 1 and H&J's Outdoor World was pushed all the way by SBS Bank but held on by just 0.141 seconds to confirm the final quarter final spot.
In Division Two's Round of 16 wins went the way of Harrex Group over PowerNet, Amalgamated Builders over Richoh, Whyte's Gravel Supplies over St Thomas Aquinas School, AWS Legal ahead of Harcourts, The Radio Network over HW Richarsons, Environment Southland beat out Waihopai Health Services, ASA Stonewood Homes defeated Finance Now and BMAC Sheetmetal backed up to take a win over Fulton Hogan.
The competition then split off in to the various Plate Competitions for the first round losers with the winners squaring off in some titanic Division One and Two QuarterFinals.
In the Division One Plate, the Quarter Finals went the way of Southroads over the Southland Times, Fonterra who recorded a 1:17 on their way to beating YMCA home, WHK over Westpac and ILT Heineken 1 handed SBS its second narrow loss. Fonterra and ILT Heineken 1 then both recorded times in the low 1:17s on their way to impressive semifinal wins with the milk triumphing over the beer in the Plate Final, Fonterra recording a hot 1:16.830 to take the victory.
The Division One Consolation Plate for the Plate Quarter final losers saw YMCA defeat Southland Times and SBS Bank beat Westpac for the right to battle it out in the final and, like every race involving SBS on the day, it was another beauty with YMCA taking the win by just 0.416 seconds.
The QuarterFinal Losers dropped in to the Division One Special Plate and fought out a couple of great semifinals. EIS Group got up over Opus and Preston Russell Law beat the Police to the line (which perhaps isn't the best way for the prosecutor to look after their major client). The final was a cracker and in the end the vocal support from the Palagi Vice supporters in the crowd may have made the difference as Preston Russell Law took the win over EIS by 0.26 seconds.
Division Two's Plate saw wins to Harcourts, Waihopai Health, Fulton Hogan and Finance Now and after Fulton Hogan and Waihopai Health won through to the final it was the Fulton Hogan team that took the win by just over two seconds.
In the Division Two Consolation Plate, two contrasting qualifying semifinal wins for Ricoh (by 5.5 seconds) and PowerNet (by 0.3 seconds) saw them win through to take on St Thomas School and HW Richarson in the semifinals. Ricoh backed up for the win but the transporters proved too strong for the electicity lines company. To their credit Ricoh dug deep in the final to take the win and also earn the prize as the most improved novice team with the newcomers improving by over four seconds throughout Finals day.
The Division Two Special Plate saw semifinal wins to AWS Legal and Environment Southland with the two teams battling out a great final lap-for-lap with AWS lifting the Special Plate (not that we had an actual plate) with a narrow victory.
And so to the main competitions.
In Division Two, after quarter final victories we set ourselves for two evenly-matched semis. Whyte's Gravel Supplies took the win over Harrex Group by less than a second, while the second semi was even closer with ASA Stonewood Homes shading The Radio Network's Classic Hitters by a mere 0.177 seconds.
In the Finals The Radio Network confirmed third place in the 3 v 4 ride while Whyte's Gravel Supplies held on to take the win over ASA Stonewood Homes by 0.3 seconds.
Division One didn't disappoint. Quater final wins went the way of Southland District Council, BNZ, Calder Stewart and H&J's Outdoor World. The semi-finals saw Southland District Council record the fastest 1000 metre effort of the competition, stopping the clock at 1:15.100 to confirm one-spot in the final and send BNZ to the ride for this. In the second semi Calder Stewart came from half a second behind with a lap to go to claim the win over H&J's Outdoor World in 1:15.861.
The Finals saw BNZ take third by less than two tenths of a second over H&J's while Southland District Council had enough in the tank to hold off the fast finishing Roofing Rebels from Calder Stewart to claim the top prize for 2012.
Earlier in the day, the Sprint Squad foursome of Erin Criglington, Scott Milne, Karl Watson and Matt Dodds came with 0.007 seconds of setting a new All-Comers' Record with their time of 1:10.147 just a slither outside the time set by Kate Dunlevey, Colin Horton, Pieter Bulling and Tom Beadle at last year's event.
A massive thanks to all those involved, most especially our two brilliant Event Managers Julian Ineson and Sier Vermunt who do such a brilliant job in making this massive event roll like clock-work.
Bring on 2013!
Finals Day Results
Division One Plate
Division One Consolation Plate
Division One Special Plate
Division Two Plate
Division Two Consolation Plate
Division Two Special Plate
All-Comers Record Attempt
Finals Day Team Lap Splits
For full information on the 2012 Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit including video highlights, photo galleries, live text commentary updates and plenty more, click here.