The sixth round of the BikeFit Marlborough Summer Road Series was raced on Tuesday evening with a return to the Lower Wairau circuit for the graded road racing event. With rain threatening from the north west and a gusty head wind up the Swamp Road straight, competitors got underway and attempted to keep protected from the winds as much as possible within their groups when not pushing the pace on the front.
Brodie Catterick again underlined his superior form in the A grade with an early breakaway and a solo ride for the majority of the 6 lap race to take 1st place. Gerard van Antwerpen lead in the remaining bunch for 2nd place ahead of Luc Cowley in 3rd.
The early hot pace in the large B grade group saw a couple of riders dropped in the difficult conditions when position within the bunch was critical. Unfortunately a brief rain shower came through during the last lap of 6 and the lead group hit a slick surface on the final corner before the finish line which resulted in two riders going down and several taken out of the running for the sprint finish. Ian Seymour survived this hiccup to take 1st place from Glen Herkt in 2nd and Mike Murphy in 3rd.
The C grade event over 5 laps of the circuit proceeded fairly orderly and the group remained intact for the majority of the race. Dylan Hodson stole away off the front of the group for a time early in the race but could not entice help from anybody else. During the final lap into the head-wind Matt Straker broke away from the lead group with 2km left to race and was chased by Niels van Antwerpen and caught 300m from the finish line. Straker won the two-man sprint finish from van Antwerpen, with Shaun Woods coming in close behind for 3rd place.
A small D grade group battled the conditions and stayed intact for the 4 lap event. Brittany Lucas unleashed a strong sprint finish to take 1st place from Katie Batt in 2nd and Sophie Batt in 3rd.
Full results here: Results Summernight Series 2014-15 Round 6.pdf