19 Wainuioru to Te Wharau return, Graded Road Race

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The race tonight was an out and back course starting and finishing at Wainuioru. Graded Road Races are quite different in the manner of racing from a Handicapped Road Race – where the aim is to catch and pass the riders who set off before you, whilst at the same time staying away from the riders who started after you. In a Graded Road Race the racing happens between the riders who start together, and if a rider is dropped, they are permitted to sit behind a following bunch once they have been caught, but are not allowed to work with that bunch or interfere in that race whatsoever. So Graded Road Races become tactical battles between riders who are usually team mates!

The long course was a testing one, and the first time this course has ever been raced by the club. This course has everything – fast flat sections, followed by a steep twisty descent into a valley followed instantly by a hard climb back out of the valley. It then rolls along more up and down before you reach the turn around. The short course avoids the steep descents and climbs, so the riders are mainly riding fast flat and rolling climbs.

A-Grade set off first on 0 minutes. In their race an attack by Mark Langlands came early and he escaped off the front of his grade. One the race headed into the quick descent and quite gnarly climbing heading towards Te Wharau, Ben Knight used his power to cross the gap the Mark and these two riders worked together to increase the distance to the rest of their grade. The remainder of A-Grade who had no option but to let Mark and Ben ride away, then worked together to finish their race, with Mark taking out the sprint. Unfortunately for A-Grade there was a slight mishap with the positioning of the turnaround point which meant that A-Grade had the benefit of an extra long race – 48 kms instead of the 36 is should have been! One or two long faces and sore legs amongst A-Grade because of this.

B-Grade set off 1 minute after A-Grade. There were no early attacks in their race, but the testing nature of the course and a high pace saw a number of B-Grade dropped after the descent and during the climb after the left turn. Thankfully for this group, (and all the others who followed) Devan, the course builder – who had started with A-Grade – realised the turn was in the wrong place and abandoned his race to become the Marshall who turned everyone, at more or less the correct place. Following the turn the remnant of B-Grade made their way back to the drop into the valley and as soon as they hit the climb Harrison Deal and Paul Wallace managed to put a gap into B-Grade. They were unable to get that gap to open wide enough to make it back to the finish as a duo, and were caught by Darren Southon, Bill van Workeom and Lesley Mouat. Shortly after this B-Grade encounters a big mob of sheep – the joys of racing in rural Wairarapa – and slowed to make their way safely through this hazard. The slowing of the pace allowed Andy Curtis-Cody to return to the group and this half dozen riders went to the sprint together. Bragging rights go to Harrison Deal tonight – great way to return to racing.

C-Grade set off 1 minute after B-Grade. C-Grade also split during their race with Terry Blackburn, Darren Sullivan, and Rex Dowding all managing to escape off the front of their grade. Terry and Darren arrived back at the finish with a few seconds between each other and just in front of Rex, with a bunch of 5 riders chasing hard. C-grade also managed to successfully negotiate the mob of sheep. Sheep were not the only elements in nature to impact this bunch with Andi Bond suffering a bee sting. It is great to see he was not going to allow that to interfere with the enjoyment of an intensely contested race!

D-Grade, were the final group contesting the long course tonight. They were a slightly smaller group and included three of our up and coming, junior riders, Sydney Blackburn, Caleb and Finn Roberts. It seems that their young legs were definitely an advantage on tonight’s course and these three riders were able to put over a minute into the rest of their grade. Once again Sydney managed to find herself ‘leading out’ the Roberts brothers in the sprint with Caleb, again showing a clean pair of heals to the others.

E-Grade contested the short course tonight. There were two more of our up-and coming junior riders in this grade, Bianca Green and Scarlet McCallum. Joining these youngsters were two tandems ridden by Doug Maclachlan/Meri Murphy and Rod/Jenni Sutherland. Joining them in E-grade tonight was another returning rider – Di Chesmar. Once again in this grade young legs were definitely an advantage and Bianca took line honours with the Sutherland’s tandem a matter of seconds behind.

Many thanks to all the race officials and marshals who kept us safe out there and assisted with punctures. Also thanks to those who provided the BBQ, rehydration and instant energy in the form of the lollies!

Next Week is the final Club Championship race – the hill climb up Admiral hill.

Full results from tonight are:

A-Grade
Shute  Race Number Rider Start Time Finish Time Ride Time
28 90 Mark Langlands 0:00:00 1:18:15 1:18:15
29 13 Ben Knight 0:00:00 1:18:16 1:18:16
39 7 Laurence Kent 0:00:00 1:22:30 1:22:30
40 46 Derek Roberts 0:00:00 1:22:33 1:22:33
41 73 Erik D’Arbois 0:00:00 1:22:35 1:22:35
42 70 Simon Pumfrey 0:00:00 1:22:51 1:22:51
43 101 Eddy Kuipers 0:00:00 1:22:51 1:22:51
44 36 Devan Simmonds 0:00:00 1:22:56 1:22:56
45 V2 Richard van Lint 0:00:00 1:22:56 1:22:56
69 Peter James 0:00:00 DNF
1 Tom McCallum 0:00:00 DNF
54 Dave Shepherd 0:00:00 DNF
.
B-Grade
Shute  Race Number Rider Start Time Finish Time Ride Time
7 58 Harrison Deal 0:01:00 1:07:57 1:06:57
8 79 Bill van Workeom 0:01:00 1:07:58 1:06:58
9 75 Andrew Curtis-Cody 0:01:00 1:07:58 1:06:58
10 61 Darren Southon 0:01:00 1:07:58 1:06:58
11 53 Paul Wallace 0:01:00 1:08:00 1:07:00
12 5 Lesley Mouat 0:01:00 1:08:04 1:07:04
13 30 Corey Miller 0:01:00 1:09:31 1:08:31
15 112 Chris McBride 0:01:00 1:09:34 1:08:34
23 45 Donna Burkhart 0:01:00 1:12:02 1:11:02
30 50 Earle Whitcombe 0:01:00 1:18:19 1:17:19
97 Chris Smith 0:01:00 DNF
.      
    C-Grade
Shute  Race Number Rider Start Time Finish Time Ride Time
14 77 Terry Blackburn 0:02:00 1:09:31 1:07:31
16 120 Darren Sullivan 0:02:00 1:09:49 1:07:49
17 72 Rex Dowding 0:02:00 1:10:20 1:08:20
18 76 Peter Lee 0:02:00 1:11:00 1:09:00
19 V1 James Goodger 0:02:00 1:11:15 1:09:15
20 117 Simon Butler 0:02:00 1:11:26 1:09:26
21 15 David Hancock 0:02:00 1:11:26 1:09:26
22 32 Greg Baillie 0:02:00 1:11:27 1:09:27
24 2 Andi Bond 0:02:00 1:12:18 1:10:18
25 19 Daniel Jaques 0:02:00 1:13:36 1:11:36
26 38 Greg Lang 0:02:00 1:16:03 1:14:03
27 29 Ray Haste 0:02:00 1:17:21 1:15:21
34 80 Liam Moore 0:02:00 1:19:44 1:17:44
.
D-Grade
Shute  Race Number Rider Start Time Finish Time Ride Time
31 48 Caleb Roberts 0:03:00 1:18:45 1:15:45
32 40 Finn Roberts 0:03:00 1:18:45 1:15:45
33 78 Sydney Blackburn 0:03:00 1:18:47 1:15:47
35 21 Anil Raman 0:03:00 1:20:06 1:17:06
36 43 John Murray 0:03:00 1:20:28 1:17:28
37 26 David Howden 0:03:00 1:20:28 1:17:28
38 57 Karen Blade 0:03:00 1:20:33 1:17:33
.
E-Grade – Short Course
Shute  Race Number Rider Start Time Finish Time Ride Time
1 88 Bianca Green 0:04:00 0:41:56 0:37:56
2 74 Rod & Jenni Sutherland 0:04:00 0:41:59 0:37:59
3 55 Doug Maclachlan/Meri Murphy 0:04:00 0:42:59 0:38:59
4 Di Chesmar 0:04:00 0:44:23 0:40:23
5 71 Bruce McCallum 0:04:00 0:53:00 0:49:00
6 11 Scarlet McCallum 0:04:00 0:52:01 0:48:01

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