ANZAC DAY RACE. For many years Ray Wallis and his team of helpers have organised the ANZAC day race to raise money for local charities. In honour of his hard work over the years we are hosting a ‘virtual’ event this year with all proceeds going to LifeFlight in Ray’s name. Simply go for a run or walk on ANZAC day and donate according to your distance. $5 for 5km or $10 for 10km. Deposit to the ACM account 02-0688-0020447-00 (use your name and ANZAC as a reference). You could also post a photo here to show us where you went. Remember – keep your social distance!
In light of the announcements today we have regrettably decided to cancel the final 5km event tomorrow as well as the one-hour track challenge next weekend. A decision about the cross country series will be made in due course. Please share this notice with those who you know do not use social media.
The Francis line circuit never fails to bring a few challenges with it. It is a course where riders understand they will face the wind coming at them from every which way at some stage out on the road. Tonight, it was a hardy few riders – some might say fool-hardy – who turned out to attempt to deal with very chilly south-southeast wind conditions.
Traditionally this is a fast, flat circuit that favours the sprinters or riders who can hang on and then take off out the front to rapidly get up that final small lump to the finish line. As a Graded Road Race, you are only racing against the riders in your start group, so bunch tactics can also come into play and not everyone will be prepared to take equal turns on the front.
Usually in Graded Road Races there’s no love in war and cycle racing and sometimes it’s not about winning but all about beating your mates! In contrast to that idea, both A and B Graded races this evening were ridden more like a Handicapped Road Race.
In A Grade a couple of riders were dropped very soon after the first turn, but all the other riders decided to sit up and let both riders back into the bunch. Everyone was then able to roll through taking their turn on the front. In the end line honours in A-Grade went to Finn Roberts, closely followed by his Dad, who rode the whole race in his small chain ring – spin training extraordinaire!
In B-Grade a similar race unfolded. B-Grade came down to a hard-fought sprint with line honours going to Roger Foote closely followed by Rex Dowding. The race for minor places were also strongly contested in B-Grade.
Very many thanks to race management who kept us safe. Tonight, there were nearly as many in the race team as riders on bikes.
Note: PNP have today put out a notification that Centre Champs have been postponed at this stage. For those who have entered or are intending to enter Nationals – keep an eye on the NZC website as they have indicated they will update this on 19thMarch.
Only two more Tuesday night races for this season – next week is an ITT up Matahiwi and the final race is a Mass Start around the Pakas from Johnstone Street.
Rememberto register for our Cycling Section AGM and Prizegiving through the ACM website.
Tonight’s handicapped road race used the Upper Manaia Road to Kaituna and return course. With another testing breeze in play, this race turned into a bit of a smash fest for many of the riders, particularly in ‘A’ and ‘B’ Grade. These two groups obviously decided right from the off, that they didn’t feel like working together tonight.
With pressure on right from the start, some riders in these two groups were spat out the back door very early in the race. Most riders from ‘C’ and ‘D’ grade had noticed that this was a handicapped race and did manage to work and stay together until they were around the turn. Then a couple of the riders from ‘C’ grade were successful in hooking onto the charging front end of ‘A’ Grade, at least for a while.
Line honours tonight go to our visiting rider, Madi Hartley-Brown, who was first and fastest man, followed a few seconds later by Gareth Price and Mark Langlands in third. First and fastest woman tonight was Kirsten Goodin.
Special mention tonight for great rides from both Finn and Caleb Roberts. As junior riders they are having to use restricted gearing, and have to spin at a frenetic pace to stay on a bunch that is flying downhill.
On the short course our junior riders found the conditions quite tough and ended up racing an individual time trial. Short Course line honours went to Jaimee Blackburn once again this evening.
Congratulations to all those who contested Rice Mountain Classic at the weekend – it’s one tough race – Erik D’Arbois, Stephen Yeats, Richard van Lent, Josh van Workoem. Also remember that we still have riders out there on the Tour of Aotearoa and you are able to track how far they have got on-line.
For those of you who have been thoroughly enjoying racing, and are wanting to extend your season there are a few opportunities outside Tuesday nights for you to stretch your legs:
14thMarch – Tui Bush Tour – Mangatanoka
21stMarch – Gentle Annie – Taihape to Hawkes Bay
5thApril – Wellington Centre Champs being run by PNP
11-13thApril – Australasian Masters champs – hosted in the Wairarapa
17-19thApril – New Zealand Age Group Club Nationals hosted by Waipukurau
3rdMay – Hope Gibbons Team Time Trial hosted by ACM – register now here:
The other date to put into your calendar is our AGM and Prizegiving – Saturday 9thMay at Wairarapa Club. To register for this please complete the form you will find at:
As always thanks to our race management team, and also thanks to the Allen’s for hosting the after- race refuelling session.
I’m sure I’ve been here before! Yes, tonight the race used the same course as last week beginning at the Whangaehu Hall, riding north on Bideford Road to Maungapuru School before returning to the finish line. For the main race the overall journey was about 30 kms. This evening our sole short course contender, Kate Speedy, turned at the top of the first hill, to race approximately 15 kms.
With a brisk Norwest wind in play on this handicapped road race, it was a case of everyone peddling their very best to try to catch the group in front and stay away from those who left after you. Each of the bunches left at 4 minute intervals. Bunches that work well together – rolling through smoothly and steadily, keeping an even effort without leaving gaps, tend to travel faster overall than groups who struggle to work together as a cohesive unit. Of course if the group gets caught, then it’s a case of everyone for themselves to see if you can get on the back of a charging bunch!
Tonight those 4 minute gaps were not enough as each of the groups found themselves both splitting up and being caught by at least some of those in the following groups. Those who were lucky, got caught somewhere that enabled them to hook onto the back, even if only for a short time, whilst those who were unlucky got caught just when the road began to rise once again, making it almost impossible to stay on the back of the faster riders.
Over the final few kilometres, the front end of both ‘Scratch’ and ‘Break’ came together to contest the final hill sprint to the finish. The overall winner taking line honours and fastest man was Tom McCallum, closely followed by Richard van Lent and Mark Langlands in third. Lesley Mouat was the first and fast woman this evening finishing a little ahead of Donna Burkhart.
As ever, many thanks to the race management team for looking after us on the road.
Please note next week there is a course change to the scheduled race. We will now be using the Upper Manaia Road to Kaituna return course.
Tonight saw the first Graded Road Race for 2020 beginning at the Whangaehu Hall, riding north on Bideford Road to Maungapuru School before returning to the finish line. For the main race the overall journey was about 30 kms and for our short course contenders who turn at the top of the first hill, it is about 15 kms in length. The course involves negotiating a number of climbs and descents, so it poses a few challenges for most riders.
A number of riders begin contemplating their tactics for a Graded Road race well in advance of the actual start. As riders are only racing with their start group, and are not allowed to participate in the race of any other grade, the questions get posed, ‘do I attack on the flat, or should I attack on the first climb’? ‘Should I try to get rid of a few competitors before the final climb or should I see if it is possible to sit on the back and hide for as long as possible so I can reserve my energy’? Tonight a reasonably brisk North-East wind also impacted on the strategy in the bunches, making it less attractive to attack on the outward journey. The first climb on the way out did stretch some of the bunches, but it was the return journey that bunches really began to split up.
Riders began in 4 grades beginning with A-Grade who had 12 contestants, then B-Grade with 10 contenders, followed by C-Grade with 10 riders and the final bunch in the main race had 9 riders. On the short course there were 4 riders.
Congratulations to all the grade winners from this evening:
A-Grade: Mark Langlands
B-Grade: Duncan Cameron, and Finn Roberts – first junior boy
C-Grade: Caleb Roberts and Kirsten Goodin – first woman
D-Grade: Andrew Bond, and Donna O’Sullivan – first woman
Short Course: Karen Blade, and Jaimee Blackburn – first Junior Girl
Chocolate Fish awards go to a couple of riders did not register times – perhaps they left their transponder at home! Full results can be found at: