Francis Line GRR

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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.

Full resultscan be found:

Kaituna Return HRR

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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.

For full results:

Bideford Road HRR

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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.

Full Results can be found:

Bideford Road – GRR

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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:

For Full Results:

As always very many thanks to the race management team who keep us safe out on the road. Also, thanks to Ricky Blade, Di Dowding, and Eastwoods for the post-race BBQ.

Next week is a Handicapped Road Race starting at Gladstone Church, racing south, then returning to finish at the top of Admiral Hill.

Hill Climb Championship – Provisional

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Club Hill Climb – Provisional results

What a fabulous evening for a stroll up a hill! Certainly 46 riders thought so, as they came out to contest ACM’s Cycling Hill Climb Championship Race up Kourarau Hill (Te Wharau Road). Some of those riders were not so much strolling as flying, and there were a number of remarkably good times posted this evening. Both Roberts boys to mention just two. 

The hill climb is a time trial event, with no draughting allowed. You are allowed to use the riders in front of you for motivation to – go faster, harder, produce more power, or just plain grovel to get past them – but you can’t sit on their wheel having a free ride. Hill climbs are rather different to flat time trials, and hills can be the ‘skinny riders’ play-ground. It is all about the power to weight ratio, and an ability to ignore legs and lungs screaming at you to stop. Riders who fly up hills, know that the quicker they get to the top the sooner the pain goes away!

As a Championship race, riders can test how well they climb against others in their age category, as well as racing for overall climbing honours. On the start line there was a considerable amount of banter between riders, but as was commented on, with a race that is seeded so that the top riders leave last, the banter ceases altogether when there are only a handful of riders left in the start box! It all becomes quite serious. 

In the junior races, champions emerged who were clearly quicker than their closest rivals. In the Open Men, Mark Langlands emerged as the clear winner, but an arm wrestle took place for second and third with Richard van Lent pipping Ben Knight by a few seconds. In the Women’s Open race another arm wrestle for the championship took place with Emily Lutyens taking the win by a fraction of a second from Belinda Fuller, with Lesley Mouat a few seconds back in 3rdplace.  Congratulations to all riders this evening, but especially to our Champions for 2020:

Junior Champions

U17 Girl: Kate Speedy

U17 Boy: Caleb Roberts

U19 Boy: Finn Roberts

Champion woman: Emily Lutyens

Champion man: Mark Langlands

As always, very many thanks to the team of race officials who looked after us out on the road. Next week, is a Graded Road Race starting from the Whangaehu hall out to Bideford and back.

Overall results can be found:

Age Group Results:

The Butler did it, with the bicycle, on the Upper Plain Circuit!

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Tonight’s handicapped road race around the Upper Plain circuit was fast and furious right from the get-go!  On an almost perfect summer evening, thirty-nine riders presented themselves to the starter for this predominately flat course with two junior riders and one senior completing two laps and everyone else racing for 3 laps. 

There was a handicap of three minutes between each of the bunches, and tonight the handicapper has to take credit for ‘getting it spot-on’, resulting in the whole race coming together on the final lap. As is expected on these occasions riders who were feeling strong managed to hook onto the back of the faster riders as they came through. Overall line honours tonight went to Simon Butler, who put both Mark Langlands and Tom McCallum to the sword in the final sprint. Simon also takes out the honour of being fastest man on the night.  Emily Lutyens outsprinted Donna Burkhart to take line honours amongst the women riders. Emily also takes out the honour of being fastest woman on the night.

On the short course, congratulations go to Karen Blade, who was the fastest rider overall on the short course. Also, congratulations to Kate Speedy who pipped Jaimee Blackburn in the sprint to take line honours amongst the junior girls.

After all was done and dusted, the riders were an animated bunch as they discussed the tactics that they had employed and whom had managed to get onto whose wheel, and which riders in their bunch didn’t take a turn on the front! Many riders were heard to state, ‘that was great, I enjoyed that’. For a few unlucky ones, tonight there was the sad story of only managed a few kilometres before I punctured!

As always, many thanks to Brent Sowry and his race team who make it possible for these races to take place safely. It was a big team of folks out there tonight. Also, very many thanks to Andrew Linton and Kirsten Goodin for refuelling riders and officials.

Next week is the final Club Championship race – the love it or hate it Hill Climb Champs up the one and only Admiral Hill.

Finally, good luck to Tom McCallum as he heads north to contest the Elite National up in Cambridge. Go hard Tom.

Full results from tonight can be found at:

Lap times:

ACM Club Road Race Champs – Provisional results

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It was a challenging parcours for the riders who presented themselves to the start line for the club road race championship. Just on 60 kms over two laps of the Millars Road circuit and one lap for the short course riders. Local temperature was nudging 30 degrees and there was a brisk nor’westerly which ramped up as the evening progressed.

Out on the circuit this translated to a long drag into a headwind as the riders passed the Hurunui-O-Rangi marae and continued up past the Gladstone vineyards and over the rise past Middle Run. Turning the corner onto Carters Line and down to the Deerstalkers Hall is normally a fast & furious affair but this evening made difficult by a blustery and bullying crosswind that caused numerous problems for riders caught in a gap or out of position in the line.

Bearing left past the Hall and up past the mushroom factory gave some respite in the form of a rough tailwind pretty much all the way up to the Millars Road turn off and continued with a blustery tailwind up and over the Millars road climb. The final leg presented with a solid cross headwind which was to be endured all the way to the finish line.

First two men across the line were Mark Langland followed by Derek Roberts. First woman was Emily Luytens who just pipped Belinda Fuller for line honours. Also congratulations to first junior boy, Finn Roberts, and first junior girl, Jaimie Blackburn.

Congratulations to all riders who completed the course tonight and a big thanks to all the marshalls for doing a sterling job and to Di for the BBQ

For full results:

Report: Andy Curtis-Cody

Y Loop Handicapped Road Race

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On a pleasantly warm evening 40 riders presented themselves to the starter for our Y Loop handicapped road race. Two of those contested the short course, which was to the end of the right-hand arm of the ‘Y’. For everyone else the race is contested over both arms of the ‘Y’. This is an interesting course, with enough short fairly steep climbs to test the mettle of all riders. 

The riders left in 4 handicap groups, with the exception of a few riders who had struggled on the first third of the course, ‘limit’ remained in the lead as the riders returned to the bridge after the first arm of the ‘Y’. It was noticeable however, how far the gap had shortened between all the groups. For the riders who had already dropped out of their bunch on the early sections of the course, their ride was a long and lonely training TT. For those still in their group there was still a couple more testing climbs ahead, and work to be done.

As the riders returned to the bridge after the second arm of the ‘Y’, break had caught all the other riders, and some of those who had been caught had managed to hook onto the back. By this time Scratch were hard on the tail of these riders, and the question was going to be, would those now riding with ‘break’ have enough time to climb out from the bridge, position themselves well for the false flat to the top of the final rise and then charge at the finish line before scratch could reach them? And the answer to that question for many in that group was a big ‘yes’.

Congratulations tonight go to our overall winner Josh van Workoem who started with ‘Break’ – but maybe moving on up to ‘Scratch’ before much longer!  Special mention has to go to Finn Roberts, a junior rider, who started in Break 2 but hung onto Break as his group were caught and finished a close second overall. Congratulations also go to Kirsten Goodin, first and fastest woman, and once again to Mark Langlands fastest man. Perhaps tonight we should also be saying congratulations to our handicapper, for the closeness of the finish over the first 20 riders to finish! On the short course, congratulations to our winner Ryan McNaughton who outsprinted Annabelle Smith.

Our thanks once more to all the race officials who kept the riders safe, and also to the combination of Eastwood Motors, and Di Dowding for well-earned refuelling at the end of the night.

Next week you can look forward to a major source of bragging rights with the Club Championship Road Race over the ‘Millars Road’ circuit, starting at Gladstone Church. This will be a Mass Start Road Race of 2 laps.

Full results from tonight can be found at:

2020 Provisional Results Club ITT

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The Individual Time Trial is also known as the ‘Race of truth’. It is a race where specific time trial bikes and pointy helmets, deep dish or disk wheels, skinsuits and aerobars can be used to try to make the rider as efficient and aerodynamic as possible. These things can shave seconds off your ride time but really the race is about the rider and their bike against the clock with no one to draft behind.

With most riders leaving at 30 second intervals the only help you get is in the mind by having someone in front of you to try to catch whilst at the same time knowing you probably have someone else behind you that you want to stay away from. For a few riders it becomes a game of catch – how many can I catch – or occasionally it becomes I just climbed past that person, so why are they descending faster and passing me back!

The course out from Bideford Road then turning left into the Whangaehu Valley climbs all the way to the 20 km mark where the turn-around is. The return journey is faster, but usually that doesn’t make it any easier, as everyone is travelling faster, and time trials are about consistent effort all the way to the finish. 

Both Mark Langlands and Tom McCallum backed up very impressively tonight after competing in the New Zealand Cycle Classic that finished on Sunday. It is also great to see a couple of Junior girls turn out to test themselves against the clock on the short course. In the main race three riders had mechanical issues resulting in DNF’s. Dave Drummond’s skinsuit option was definitely not UCI legal, but perhaps on one of the warmest evenings we have experienced this summer, gave him some air conditioning advantage.

Congratulations to our ITT Champions for 2020:

Junior Girls:

1st        Jaimee Blackburn

2nd       Annabelle Smith

Women’s Championship

1st        Belinda Fuller

2nd       Emily Lutyens

3rd        Kirsten Goodin

Men’s Championship

1st       Mark Langlands

2nd       Tom McCallum

3rd        Dave Drummond

Next week is a Handicapped Road Race starting at Wainuioru and racing on the Y loop course.

Full results:

Start timeRiderFinish timeRide Time
0:20:00Mark Langlands1:18:110:58:11Champion man
0:19:00Tom McCallum1:20:251:01:252nd man
0:10:30Dave Drummond1:14:201:03:503rd man
0:21:00Ben Knight1:25:101:04:10
0:14:30Gareth Price1:18:431:04:13
0:13:00Bill van Workoem1:17:531:04:53
0:13:30Josh van Workoem1:19:451:06:15
0:15:30Daniel Jaques1:21:591:06:29
0:18:00Dom Green1:25:441:07:44
0:04:30Rex Dowding1:13:001:08:30
0:09:00Robert Jaques1:18:191:09:19
0:10:00Laurance Kent1:19:231:09:23
0:12:30Duncan Cameron1:22:091:09:39
0:08:00Belinda Fuller1:18:381:10:38Champion woman
0:07:30Emily Lutyens1:18:501:11:202nd woman
0:09:30Stephen Yeats1:21:421:12:12
0:12:00Craig Mangin1:24:211:12:21
0:11:30Andy Curtis-Cody1:23:561:12:26
0:11:00Mike Wilkinson1:24:061:13:06
0:05:30Chris McBride1:20:151:14:45
0:07:00Kirsten Goodin1:23:011:16:013rd Woman
0:05:00Neil Henderson1:21:041:16:04
0:04:00John Allen1:20:581:16:58
0:03:30Anil Raman1:20:381:17:08
0:03:00Mark Jerling1:20:351:17:35
0:06:30Julie Millar1:27:061:20:36
0:02:30Greg Baillie1:25:151:22:45
0:08:30John Murray1:31:251:22:55
0:02:00Karen Blade1:29:431:27:43
0:06:00Mike Parker1:34:011:28:01
0:15:00Eddy KuipersDNFDNF
0:16:00Simon ButlerDNFDNF
0:17:00Peter JamesDNFDNF
Juniors short course
Start timeRiderFinish timeRide Time
0:00:30Jaimee Blackburn0:27:070:26:37Junior champion
0:01:00Annabelle Smith0:32:120:31:122nd Junior

Memorial Ride for Darren and Josh

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Tuesday night is usually ACM Cycling Section’s race night. This evening our club came together as a family for a Memorial Ride to remember and honour Darren and Josh Southon, to offer support to Lisa, Jorja, wider whanau and to one another at this tragic time.  Since news reached us of the sudden loss of Darren and young Josh, his family and friends have been grieving deeply, and struggling with their loss. Tonight’s ride was to honour the memory of two much loved members of our community.

Darren has been acknowledged by all to be an all-round good bloke. He knew how to have fun but also when to be serious. Darren was able to relate to all sorts of people and will be remembered for his easy manner and big smile. Josh was just at the start of what should have been a brilliant and long life. He too loved to have fun with his friends and family, emerging as a junior version of his Dad.

After a minute of respectful silence, the lead car, with both Josh and Darren’s bikes mounted on its roof headed south from Dixon Street. The Tararua Builders Race team and family members led out a peleton of 300+ cyclists, including ACM club members, colleagues, friends, NZ Classic team riders and guests. Non-cycling members of the community lined the route in tribute to these two precious community members. The whole ride was run under a mobile Traffic Management Plan keeping everyone safe – thanks traffic management team.

As we rode many of us remembered precious times spent with Darren. For many of us it is heart-breaking to realise that the small bike on the roof of the car we were following will never be upgraded to a full-sized bike, and we can no longer ride with the owner of the full-sized bike!

Following the ride, and presentation of the NZ Classic teams, refreshments were served at the home of Mike and Tracey Wilkinson – thanks to you both for the hospitality. Here more stories of times shared with Darren and Josh were recounted.  Right now, none of us who have been left behind can quite comprehend the full extent of our loss for these two lives cut short before their time.

Darren and Josh, rest in peace and rise in glory, you are gone, but will never be forgotten. Our thoughts, prayers and support remain with Lisa, Jorja, family and friends.