Knight’s night

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It was supposed to be a graded road race. At the last hour it was changed to a mass start road race. There is a difference. Graded races combine riders of a similar capability who then race within a race. Often they start at a leisurely pace. Mass starts are a different beast. From the gun the pace can be furious and the need and ability to stay with other riders can be nerve-racking. If a rider is in the company of faster competitors it can be all they can do to hang on. Frequently, somewhere along the course, they fall off the back to be consigned to the lonely road. Others may be on easy street surrounded by lesser mortals who offer little competition when the finish line approaches.

This was all true on Tuesday evening when 41 Athletics & Cycling Masterton cyclists took on the testing Parkvale, Martinborough, Longbush, Millars Rd circuit over 60km. This is the longest race on the club calendar. It can also be the loneliest. The south-easterly made its presence felt, especially east of Martinborough. It was hot at the start and cool by the race end. The ride is pretty straightforward on the run down to Martinborough but becomes testing leaving Martinborough with the wind in the face along the Tablelands. Longbush offers a series of sharp and narrow climbs. Then there is the steep side of Millars Rd to contend with and, for some, a flock of sheep. It was another excellent evening of racing undertaken in dry and windy conditions.

Like last week it was Ben Knight who shone. Before Martinborough and along with Dave Shepherd he got the drop on his usual A grade fast men. By the Tablelands Dave fell off the pace and Ben was on his own to the finish. His time of 1.31.38 was minutes ahead of the bunch. They were led by 14-year-old Tom McCallum performing exceptionally well as a junior who took second ahead of Phil Sutherland. That’s two third placings in a row for Phil. Dave Shepherd, who showed that early promise, finished in 11th spot but with his fellow A graders.

A lively group, a mix of C and D graders, appreciated the larger field and kept together to Millars Road where the C people made a break. Anil Raman did a great job to be first of the D riders in. The E people, without Stan Braaksma’s assistance this week, hung together and were led home by Viv Bunny.

Another six riders rode a short course which took them from Parkvale over Millars and back. Claudia Green led Robin Green and Kelvin Brown home in a time of 49.54.

Riders appreciated the marshalls spread all around this course even at the most remote corners, as well as the race management and time-keeping. Click on the link for the results. Enjoy.  03.02.2015 MSRR Parkvale.Martinborough.Longbush.Millars 60km

Next week: Tuesday February 10, it’s a ITT over 29km on Norfolk Road. Meet on Norfolk Road, over the railway line and up a bit.

Ben Knight leads them home

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Cycling Masterton’s Tuesday evening race was another graded road race. Run over 55km of the Whangaehu circuit this is a event that was kinder on the riders than last week’s run out to Wainuioru. There is just the one hill, up Dreyers Rock Road to contend with along with the gentle climb up the valley. It was another warm night, threatening to drizzle with a stiff north easterly which assisted on the run home.

There were five grades totalling 47 riders off at minute intervals with a further three riders competing over a short course. Whereas this was an easier course nevertheless there were soon riders dropping off their group especially in C Grade where Julie Millar put on the pressure with four riders found wanting and who were later collected up by the following D Grade group. For them their race was over. The A Grade and E Grade riders stayed together but B was split in two by the finish line. The same happened with D where the climb at Dreyers was sufficient to divide the group.

Fastest time on the night went to Ben Knight with another consistent performance in 1.24.25. Peter James and Phil Sutherland shared 1.24.29 for second and third. It is good to see Phil’s name in lights.  Daniel Jacques topped B Grade sharing his time with Bill Van Woerkom (a rider on the road to recovery) in 1.27.50. Lesley Mouat, first woman, was a second back in fourth place. Julie Millar spread her C Grade and completed the ride in 1.38.24, over a minute ahead of her nearest rival. Willy Kersten won D Grade by the width of a tyre from Douglas Maclachlan both in 1.41.10 and Stan Braaksma and Suz Hayman shared 1.48.20 in E Grade. The three F Grade riders rode and finished the shorter course together in 57.22 and 57.23.

As in most weeks a good group of marshals put out the signage, kept time and kept the road safe for both drivers and cyclists.

The attached file has the details in Grade order and Time order. Enjoy. – Click on the link 27 01 2015 GRR Whangaehu circuit 55km

Next week: Tuesday 3rd February, is yet another graded road race on the Parkvale, Martinborough, Longbush circuit over 60km starting and finishing at Parkvale Hall. With the evenings getting a bit shorter be sure to be on time for a prompt start at 6.00pm.

Coming up, the Club champs: Hill climb (14.02), criterium (28.02), ITT (14.03) and road racing (21.03), all listed as Saturday afternoon events. Diary them now.

Langlands tops the hills

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Cycling Masterton’s Tuesday evening race consisted mostly of hills consequently it was the climbers who topped the race. The event was run as a graded road race commencing in Watsons Road to Wainuioru School then returning to finish at the top of Limeworks. It was a warm night with little wind to disrupt.

There were six grades totalling 46 riders off at minute intervals with the A Grade riders first away. But, unlike most graded races where the groups cohabitate with little difference in performance between competing riders, Tuesday evening saw a wide spread of individual effort. So, in this race within a race, it was the climbers who split the grades and riders who couldn’t stay with them fell back. This occurred in all grades which each spreading out with every ascent.

Fastest on the night was Mark Langlands in 43.03 leading Ben Knight not too far back in 43.34 with James Lambert third in 47.14. A Grade were scattered over eight minutes by the finish. Other grades suffered the same fate with dominant riders taking the honours while the rest of the grade followed in their heels. Lesley Mouat was first woman in 51.50 followed by Julie Millar and Kirsten Goodin. Unlike last week there was just the one DNF. Even Earle completed the course but then again he had to as his own birthday invitation was to successful finishers only.

As in most weeks a good group of marshals put out the signage, kept time and kept the road safe for both drivers and cyclists.

Click on the link for the results in Grade order, Overall order and Shute order. Enjoy. 20 01 2015 GRR Wainuioru and return to Limeworks 29km

Next week: Tuesday 27 January, is another graded road race on the Wangaehu circuit commencing at Henley Lake at 6.00pm and concluding at Hansells.

Coming up, the Club champs: Hill climb (14.02), criterium (28.02), ITT (14.03) and road racing (21.03), all listed as Saturday afternoon events. Diary them now.

Butler wins on Millars Rd

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Fifty six riders turned up on Tuesday evening for the cycle club handicap road race. Conditions were described as “almost perfect” for the event which took in two laps of the Millars Rd circuit, a total of 58km.

What was significant were the numbers who did not finish the race and so posted a DNF against their names. One was reported as saying it was a strategic move which allowed him to be first in the queue at the Gladstone pub before the rest of the riders descended on the place for after-race bragging. A likely story. Nevertheless some “big” names didn’t make the finish line, perhaps still recovering from the excesses of the festive season. More plausible was the fierce pace set by each of the groups which was “full on”.

Five groups competed – Limit with nine riders, Break 1 with 10 riders at eight minutes, Break 2 with eight riders at 13 minutes, Break with 12 riders at 20 minutes and Scratch with 10 riders at 25 minutes.

Simon Butler, off at 13 minutes, won in 1.53.01 leading home two other Break 2 riders Brian Sanders and Chris Smith. Hard on their heels were Kirsten Goodin from Break 1 and Julie Miller from Break 2. Fastest time of the night went to expat James Lambert in 1.29.18 from new comer Jake Jamieson and Ben Knight. As is usual in such events riders were swallowed up by faster competitors coming through the field. Some had the good fortune to hook on. Others faced the road on their own.

Another group of nine riders competed over one lap and were led home by Claudia Green in 56.27 with the same time posted by Robin Green from Kelvin Brown, one second in arrears.

All in all it was a great evening’s racing. The services of the timers, marshals and sign-posters was appreciated. Click on the link for the results.  13 01 2015 HRR Millars circuit x 2 58km

Next week: Tuesday 20 January, we compete in a graded road race to Wainuioru commencing in Watsons Rd at 6.00pm and concluding at the Limeworks summit. Bring your climbing gears.

Coming up, the Club champs: Hill climb (14.02), criterium (28.02), ITT (14.03) and road racing (21.03), all listed as Saturday afternoon events. Diary them now.

Drummond makes it one from one for 2015

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It doesn’t pay to be a cycling club meteorologist especially by breaking into print with this Monday forecast: “Looks like it may be a quick ride back from Holdsworth. Forecast at 6pm tomorrow is 24 degrees with 17kph westerly!!” Those who competed on Tuesday evening took issue with much of this statement. Certainly it wasn’t a cool night but that wind had swung, with the passage of the front, to a brisk south-easterly, providing stiff competition for the 40 riders heading back down from Holdsworth.

The event was a mass start road race from the Waingawa Industrial Estate, neutralized until over the railway line into Norfolk Rd where the flag dropped and the pace picked up. The course was to Holdsworth and return a distance of 29km. Riders were ready for action right from the beginning and in good conditions the field soon found its groupings. Those A Grade types stayed together and thirteen of them finished within three seconds with the first three – Dave Drummond, Kevin McCormack and Tom McCallum sharing the same time in 45.47. Like last year Kirsten Goodin posted fastest time for women in 53.11. Two women competed over a shorter 19km course to the bridge and back.

All in all it was a great evening’s racing followed by the generous offer of free food and drinks at Masterton Motor Lodge. That was appreciated. Also appreciated were the services of the timers and marshals and Rod and Brian for signposting the course. Excellent. Click on the link for the results. 06 01 2015 MSRR Norfolk Rd to Holdsworth and return 29km

Next week: Tuesday 13 January, we compete in a handicap road race over two laps of the Millers Rd circuit, a total of 58km. Meet at the Gladstone intersection for a 6.00pm start.

Coming up, the Club champs: Hill climb (14.02), criterium (28.02), ITT (14.03) and road racing (21.03), all listed as Saturday afternoon events. Diary them now.


Jack quickest on the night

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We have a new “professional” cyclist in our midst. He turned up for Tuesday evening’s graded road race with a heavily sign-written vehicle carrying the sponsor’s message for all to see, ponder and wonder. It didn’t assist as George Evans posted a DNF. We are all aware George had the good fortune to win the $35,500.00 Holden Trax as a spot prize at the recent Taupo Cycle Challenge. Like posties, that makes him a professional – paid to train/win. Well done George.

The club race was an upset from the beginning. The usual course over three laps of the Carrington circuit was disrupted by the resealing on the same day of Haringa Rd. It was almost as if the roading contractors knew the club was coming. Some quick thinking saw a race redraw with the start line moved to Hururua Rd, to proceed north then onto Mangatarere Valley Rd, Chester Rd, up to the Holdsworth domain and back. Mostly the club rides south on Hururua Rd so it was a surprise to many to realise how much uphill it is when going in the opposite direction. And into a stiff wind. Needless to say none of the graded groups took off with alacrity.

There were six grades totalling 57 riders off at minute intervals with the A Grade riders first away. The beauty of the graded race is that it is a race within a race. Each grade is free to get on with the task at hand without the worry of being swallowed up by other grades as can happen in handicap races. And, as happened, if riders can’t hack the pace of their grade and fall off the back they cannot influence the next grade coming along who picks them up. They are rather ignominiously sent to the back of the class for the duration.

One grade in particular generated quite an amount of bad language resulting from the way some riders rolled over the top of the peleton rotation seriously cutting off the rider they’d just passed. This had a ripple effect right the way down the line of riders in the rotation. Another sin was a rider who on moving left would then cease peddling to take a swig from his drink bottle. This also caused some consternation and swearing. Poor stuff from experienced riders. It was the last club event for the year and maybe riders were distracted at the prospect of Christmas and impending holidays.

Those grades soon spread out although most of the spread happened in the last kilometre or two as riders headed to the cruelly-placed finish right at the top of the steep climb in Hururua Rd. Grades were won by Jack Sowry (who posted fastest time of the night in 59.15), Phil Sutherland, Derek Cox, Julie Millar, Jan de Boeck and Richard Butler. Two women G graders rode a shorter course. Several A Grade riders suffered the ignominy of being beaten in their times by almost all B Grade riders. Most other grades stayed in their cohort even if spread out along the highway. And there were four DNFs including that new “professional”.

As in most weeks a good group of marshals put out the signage, kept time and kept the road safe for both drivers and cyclists.

The attached file – 16 12 2014 GRR Carrington – Holdsworth Graded Road Race has the details in Grade order, Shute order and Time order. Enjoy.

This event completed the schedule for 2014 with the first ride for 2015 taking place on Tuesday 6th January for a mass start road race on Norfolk Rd commencing from the Waingawa Estate to the bridge and return, a distance of 38km. Enjoy the festive season, get in some R&R and remember this notion – peace on earth, goodwill to all.

Burkharts take the prizes on the cycling MSRR to Kaituna and back

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Gales on Monday this week and gales on Wednesday neatly sandwiched the beautiful Spring Tuesday evening that greeted cyclists on the second race of the new season. The sun shone and what breeze there was made little impact on the field of 51 riders..

The event was a mass start road race from Upper Manaia Road via Skeets and Upper Plain to the end of the seal at Kaituna then back to the start again. Publicised as a grading race the encouragement was to find your place in the pecking order for races happening later in the season. Some riders, shown the door at last week’s individual time trial, were happier this time around as they could shelter in the groups that soon established themselves on the 27km journey. But, to be fair, all riders competed with verve and skill although one was observed taking to the grass and rubbing his shoulders along the fence line turning off Upper Plain back into Skeets. Fortunately and with presence of mind he stayed clipped in and peddling and was soon out of the long green stuff, back on the tarmac and still in touch with his fellows.

The A Grade aspirants strutted their stuff and 19 of them crossed the finish within 13 seconds of each other with three seconds covering the first 16 riders. They looked impressive sweeping down the tight and narrow downhill heading back from Kaituna. Luke Burkhart took the prize sharing the same time with Kevin McCormack at 34.28 with three riders one second back – Andrew Linton, Rodger Skerton and Dave Drummond (aka drumstick) and, drum roll here, Earle Whitcombe, 4th. Further back in the field some excellent performance were posted. Mother of first place getter Luke, Donna Burkhart, was first woman sharing the time with Julie Millar on 39.23. Helen Dore was third woman. The results are attached.

Next week: Tuesday October 14, we compete in a handicap road race over two laps of the Upper Plain circuit, a total of 29km. Meet at Upper Manaia Road for a 6.00pm start. No late registrations.

See the results – 2014 7 Oct MSRR Upper Plain.Kaituna 27km

Matahiwi 17KM ITT results

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Athletics & Cycling Masterton

Hello cycle club riders

Ben Knight gets the year off to a flier

Just as he did a year ago Ben Knight topped the field at Tuesday evening’s Individual Time Trial. Fifty riders congregated at the town end of Matahiwi Road for the season’s first event. ITT are a true test as each rider competes as an individual without assistance from other riders. Starting at 30 second intervals riders made their way to the top end of the road, a slight climb, before turning and running for home. Close times resulted with mere seconds separating riders.

Ben led home Dave Shepherd and Brett Tulloch while Kirsten Goodin was first woman followed by Emily Lutyens and Julie Millar. All together it was a good evening’s racing held at the end of a warm and sunny day with an easterly breeze .

The results are in two parts – the first, in line/start order; the second in fastest elapsed time order.

Next week: Tuesday October 7, we compete in a mass start road race over 27km from Upper Manaia Rd to the top of Kaituna and return (NB we start from Upper Manaia not Fernridge School). Meet for a 6.00pm start. No late registrations and no aerobars.

Download the results here