Our second to last Tuesday club race was one of the annual traditional ones – a Mass Start Road Race from the bottom of Norfolk Road up to the turn at the top near the car park and back down again.
If you don’t usually start in ‘A’ Grade mass start road races tend to hurt, because they are about finding a ‘wheel’ to follow and hanging on for dear life for as long as you possibly can. For most of us this means, as the pressure comes on, you find yourself slipping forward on the saddle in an effort to keep the bike moving forward at the pace of the rider(s) in front of you – an event otherwise known as being ‘on the rivet’!
Navigating a mass start requires considerable skill, as the bunch at the start comprises everyone who turned up, so is not only way bigger than usual but also includes a range of riding abilities. During mass starts it helps to have some knowledge of the folks you are racing with – you need to find a wheel to follow that is going to continue to hang on to the one in front of them. When that happens the ride is exhilarating. When they can’t, you find yourself having to close the gap – which at the very least is “ouch”, and at worst means the bunch has gone and you are out the back door!
On this particular course, if at all possible, you will still be in a good bunch of riders at the turnaround. Usually by this stage there are a number of different bunches as riders have been ‘dropped’ but providing you can get around the turn efficiently and remain with your bunch, this is where the real fun begins for all those riders who enjoy ‘flying downhill’ all the way to the sprint finish. Tonight was no exception to this rule, with a big bunch of riders flying down the hill at over 50 kms an hour. From this bunch line honours went to Eddy Kuipers closely followed by the Derek Roberts and Andrew Linton. First woman across the line was Belinda Fuller closely followed by Donna Burkhart then Emily Lutyens. On the short course line honours went to the tandem ridden by Rod and Jenny Sutherland. Congratulations also go to Meri Murphy completing her first solo race with ACM.
Once again thanks to go the race officials who keep us safe while we are having our fun and Di Dowding for organising the BBQ for us after the racing was finished.
Finally: Congratulations to all those who contested the Wellington Centre Road Race Championships during last weekend including:
Rex Dowding – M8 Champion in both ITT and Road Race
Andrew Linton – M7 Champion in both ITT and Road Race
Paul Wallace – M7 Silver Medal – Road Race
Peter James -M6 Silver Medal – Road Race
Matt Webb-Smith – Senior Bronze medal in Road Race
Caleb Roberts – U13 Champion in Road Race
Finn Roberts – U17 Silver Medal in Road Race
Lesley Mouat – M6 Champion in both ITT and Road Race
Kirsten Goodin – M2 Champion in ITT
Belinda Fuller – M3 Champion in Road Race
PLEASE NOTE: Next week the race is now an A and B Graded race, starting from Johnstone Street out to the turnaround at Gladstone Church and finishing back at Johnstone Street.
Full Results from tonight are:
||Bill van Workeom
||Peter Jones and Derek Cox
||John Allen and Liam Moore
||Rod and Jenni Sutherland