The second day of racing in the double banger weekend, dawned windy with a threat of rain. However, the Waianiwa weather Gods were kind to us and we got away with a dry afternoon, if not a little wind beaten ... judging by the weekend, it seems like the summer winds have signalled their return!
With 44 riders earning Belgium Hard Man/Woman points for fronting up for the second day of racing, we raced in three Divisions, with bigger than usual numbers allocated to the Division 1 field, to try and rein in ‘the big guns’ (who promised to be kind for the first part of the race!) and ensure there were enough in the field to make it a decent race once ‘the guns’ decided to fire some shots.
As it was, they indeed remained together for the first part of the race, splitting on the way to Drummond as the wind began devouring its victims (anyone who dared to tempt fate and ride near the back of the field). Sitting on 60k/hr for long periods of time, meant the young and the restless on their junior gears had no chance of hanging with the big guns this time. Good training though lads!]
Living up to their reputations and their legitimate Belgium Hard Man status, Pieter Bulling and Cam Karwowski made the decisive break, with Josh Haggerty chasing across to join them, before Karwowski attacked coming into the finish, maintaining a gap and taking the win from Bulling, with Haggerty in 3rd. Great racing!
Rob Huisman and Luke Macpherson rounded out the top five. There were also some fantastic displays of strength in the second Division 1 bunch on the road too and well done to all those who got on with the job and raced strongly against the impossible.
Division 2 was also torn apart by the wind, finishing with a front bunch of seven riders. Exciting young talent Samuel Miller took the win in a truly impressive display of leg speed and guts, from Wayne Miller and Stu MacDonald, with Sequoia Cooper and Grant Colbran rounding out the top five. As well as a day off, Sam has definitely earned himself some supporters for the Yunca Tour with his honest racing style and gratitude. Good work!
Division 3 riders enjoyed (arguably!) their tough day in the office, the bunch torn apart by the gales, with Tony Raggett taking the win in close sprint finish from Matt Nunn and Shirlene Rollo, with Scott Underhay in 4th and Makayla Smith riding strongly for 5th.
Josh Miller just pipped Hunter Gough home in the Junior Race – a tough battle with just two of them in the wind. They set off to fix up some blown over signs after their race had finished, so thankfully still had some energy left in the tank after their race.
Hard luck of the day story goes to our Waine, who once again got a rare chance to race, only to puncture twice! Some luck must be coming your way soon Waine – buy a lotto ticket!
A massive THANK YOU to Robin Criglington, who came out to help both days in the weekend, and also to Marshalls Linda Partridge, Malcolm Thomas, Mark Day, Alan Strong, Bill van den Arend, all the other helpers, and of course our Waino who does so much of the donkey’s work.
We have a week on our road bikes this week, with the Velodrome closed from tomorrow until Tuesday 17th for the Silver Ferns Netball test, so everyone will definitely have their road legs on ready to hook into it at Brown’s next weekend. See you there!
1 Cameron Karwowski
2 Pieter Bulling
3 Josh Haggerty
1 Samuel Miller
2 Wayne Miller
2 Stu MacDonald
1 Tony Raggett
2 Matthew Nunn
3 Shirlene Rollo
1 Josh Miller
2 Hunter Gough
Race report courtesy of our fabulous Dale MacDonald