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