A different kind of race

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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.


Francis Line MSRR 1 Lap 17-3-2015


Close racing on Upper Plain

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February 10th was another excellent evening of racing undertaken in fine conditions. And, after all the hills in recent rides, this was a breeze for most competitors. There was a breeze too but it wasn’t an issue with its impact affecting different parts of the course differently.

This was another graded road race over three laps of the Upper Plain circuit commencing and finishing in Upper Manaia Road, a total of 36km. It’s fast, almost entirely flat and provides competitors with stimulating riding. The field was made up of 45 riders including one tandem plus five riders who raced a shorter course over 20km. Six groups got underway – at 6.00pm then at minute intervals.

Phil Sutherland took line honours in 52.38, a time shared with Dave Drummond who came second. The four A grade riders finished together with Mike Wilkinson and Jack Sowry a second back. All grades except C stayed together with furious racing up to and over the chalk finish line. B grade was won by Derek Cox in 53.09, C grade by Chris Smith in 55.45, D grade by Greg Baillie in 58.04, E grade, for the second week in a row by Emily Luytens, in 59.21 with Viv Bunny taking out F grade in 1.00.11. The short course was won by Jess Matthews in 46.12. In most grades a mere second or two covered the riders, the exception being C where the field was split into two components. Lesley Mouat was first woman in 53.10, Donna Burkhart second woman with Emily third. A couple of DNFs completed the field.

As in most weeks a good group of marshals kept time and kept the road safe for both drivers and cyclists. Thanks guys and gals.

The results are in two parts – the first in grade-finishing order; the second in fastest elapsed time order.

Next week: Tuesday February 17, we compete in a 27km HRR over two laps of the Francis Line/Hughes Line circuit with a 6.00pm start. No late registrations. And, on Saturday February 14th it’s the club ITT champs from Makoura College. Be ready for a 2.00pm start.


10.03.2015 GRR Upper Manaia, Upper Plain, Skeets Rd

3 February – Y Loop Results – Impressive pair strut their stuff

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Forty seven riders presented themselves to the starter on Tuesday evening for the Athletics & Cycling club handicap road race. The 40km course had competitors commencing at Wainuioru school, heading east to the end of the seal toward Stronvar, turning and heading south to the end of the seal on Motukai Rd before returning to finish at the school. It is spectacular and remote country, complete with serious undulations, narrow bridges, a deep gorge and a setting sun.

Seven groups were sent off at zero, four, nine, 11, 14, 18 and 19 minutes, the largest groupings covering 11 riders, others with five and Scratch with just two. And, those two Scratch guys, Mark Langlands and Jack Sowry, lapped the entire field to win in 57.09 with Jack a second in arrears. Not only, they also put nearly two minutes on the next rider to cross the line and were over five minutes up on the next A grade rider. It was a remarkable race for the pair, even if the handicapping assisted. Not one group managed to finish together.

There were some excellent individual efforts throughout the field. Three riders threw in the towel and recorded DNF against their names. Others had the ignominy of being overtaken with the line in sight, often by several riders, pushing them down the finish pecking order. Such is handicap road racing.

So, it was excellent racing in warm conditions on yet another beautiful evening, witnessed by an impressive moonrise. Will this summer ever end?

Thanks to the marshalls and time-keepers and the road signage people. Apologies for the delay in providing these results.

The attached results have three components – the first listing shute order; the second highlighting the complete field in time order, the third in group order.

Next Tuesday, March 10th, is a graded road race over three laps of the Upper Plain circuit from Upper Manaia Rd, over 34km. See you all then for a 6.00pm start.


Wainuioru Y Loop 3-3-2015

Another excellent evening of bike racing

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With hills spread over the entire 55km the Kourarau loop is one of the toughest in the club calendar. Forty eight riders competed over the distance in a graded road race with another five racing over a shorter course. A brisk northeasterly made its presence felt on the long climb up Kourarau and through Westmere but became a blessing coming up the other side of Limeworks and to the finish in Watsons Rd. It provided plenty of extra horsepower for tired riders.

As with graded road races the A grade fastest riders started first with B, C, D and E grades following at minute intervals. The results tell the story with Jack Sowry in 1.26.02 comfortably ahead of Dominic Green and Craig Mangin. Lesley Mouat in 1.33.26 was first woman followed by Julie Millar and Kirsten Goodin. All five grades spat out competitors at regular intervals so for many it became a solo ride to the finish line. None of the grades finished together with riders, seemingly doing well, suddenly fading off the back. Other grade winners were Derek Cox, Andrew Curtis-Cody, Douglas Maclachlan and Belinda Fuller.

On the short course Lotte Willemstein in 46.19 led home Claudia Green and Penny Walker.

Once again there were marshalls scattered around the entire course at each of the important intersections and the timing people came up with the numbers here. Our thanks to one and all.

The results are in two parts. The first lists the riders in grade finishing order; the second file in fastest time order. Enjoy.

Next Tuesday, March 3, is a HRR on the Wainuioru Y loop over 40km. We start and finish at Wainuioru School. Give yourselves plenty of time to drive out there for the 6.00pm start. And, this Saturday, February 28 at 2.00pm at the Masterton Motoplex at the aerodrome off Manaia Rd, is the club criterium championships. See you all then.


24.02.2015 GRR Kourarau loop, 55km

Age beats beauty

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There were 39 riders on the Bideford road on Tuesday. They were competing in a handicap road race from Te Ore Ore to the site of the old Bideford Hall and return. It is a testing 38km route with its mix of flat running, undulating roadway and lengthy hills. Six groups started in almost ideal conditions with warm temperatures and breezy winds.

Elusive Mike Parker, off at three minutes, won the day in 1.11.05 posting the same time as Emily Luytens with David Howden third across the line. The age/youth link proved quickest too with Pete James in 58.26 leading Tom McCallum who shared 58.27 with Dave Drummond, all off on scratch. A number of riders felt the pain having competed in the club’s Saturday hill climb champs on the Kourarau hill and others, in the earlier grades, picked up exhilarating tows by faster competitors coming through the field.

Helene Dore, off at three minutes, was first woman home in 1.11.13 with Megan Simpson second and Emily third.

Apart from scratch who stayed together over the entire ride, all other groups produced mixed results proving again the difficulties of handicapping this course. While it is good to hook onto faster riders it can also be depressing to find following groups rapidly approaching.

A good group of marshalls and timekeepers kept time and kept the road safe for both drivers and cyclists.

The results are in three parts – the first in across-the-line shute order; the second in time finish order; the third in group order.

Next week, Tuesday February 24, we compete in the 55km Kourarau circuit in a graded road race. Be at Watsons Road for a 6.00pm start. No late registrations.


17.02.2015 HRR Bideford & return 38km