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: http://acm.kiwi.nz/running/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Upper-Plain-circuit.pdf