It was meant to be a handicap road race for the usual big numbers of cyclists who turn up each Tuesday evening. But, with a sizable chunk of club members attending the funeral of Jesse Bucknell, the field was reduced to a mere 18 riders. A quick rethink was called for and before you knew it the entire field set off on a neutralised lap of the Francis Line circuit. The race, changed to a mass start over one lap, started at the completion of that first lap. And, unlike earlier reports which waxed eloquent on the endless summer weather, it is necessary to say it was a chilly affair with a stiff and cold south easterly blowing over the exposed course. Brrrr.
So, the field cruised along with plenty of conversation and a bit of rotation until the start/finish line appeared. In an instant the whole scenario altered to a no-holds-barred scramble for position as the field bore down on the Francis Line/Bristol Road intersection. The wind was favourable on the leg down to East Taratahi and the pace, unlike the weather, was hot. Soon competitors split up and became like a graded race, in groups of two, three, four or six riders. The results tell the story with Jack Sowry taking the honours in 22.24, 18 seconds ahead of Dave Drummond with another three seconds back to Craig Mangin. Some quite notable riders were left in their wake. Emily Luytens was first woman. Two riders did not finish.
A handful of marshals kept time and kept the road safe for both drivers and cyclists. Thanks guys and gals. The results are in time order.
There is a change of location to the programme for next week: Tuesday February 24, we now compete in a 24km MSRR over two laps of the Carrington circuit with a 6.00pm start. No late registrations. And, on Saturday February 21 it’s the club road race champs from the Gladstone intersection for two laps of the Millars Road circuit. Be ready for a 2.00pm start.