17 riders from the Cuddon Cycling Marlborough club made the trip to Nelson last Saturday to compete in the first round of the annual interclub road race. Racing in the interclub series is between the Marlborough club and the two Nelson clubs, the Tasman Wheelers and the Nelson cycling Club. Trophies for the 2 round interclub are the H G Hunter Memorial Shield for the open category, and the Picton Shield for the junior under-17 category.
Race conditions were clear with some wind, which was not decisive as the nature of the course was pretty sheltered. The event was graded A to D, with all grades doing the same 62km circuit from Upper Moutere towards Motueka, returning along the Motueka Highway and the Dovedale road. The climb up the Neudorf Saddle came about 10km before the finish-line, which was at the top of the short hill climb on Kelling Rd. back near Upper Moutere.
In total about 75 riders were racing, the B grade attracting the biggest field of 30 riders, the other grades had bunches ranging from 10 to 20 riders.
In the A grade the small field showed an attacking racing style, resulting in 5 riders going clear of the others along the Dovedale Rd and contesting the final km’s between themselves. Tasman Wheelers Daniel Reid proved too strong on the finishing climb, holding back Marlborough’s Mitchell Mol, who is riding strong in his first full season of cycling, by 6 seconds. Sean O’Neill and Gerard van Antwerpen finished 5th and 6th.
The big field in the B-grade offered the riders some different racing dynamics from what they are used to in the local club races. The Marlborough riders however proved to be up for this and showed great racing skills, with Hugh Trollope (last year’s winner) and Stu McDonald breaking away after 30km. Shaun Woods joined the leaders about 5km later. They were caught by a chasing group of 4 with Marlborough's Niels van Antwerpen and Luc Cowley, and Nelson's Finn Fisher-Black and Ari Scott at the last corner, 1km from the finish. Van Antwerpen showed his consistent progress in the junior ranks with a convincing win giving Marlborough maximum points. Trollope follow his win of last year up with a 2nd place, holding back Fisher-Black.
In the C-grade Ian Martella was the only Marlborough rider, finishing 6th ,44 seconds down on winner Symon Mitchell.
Tasman Wheelers lead the interclub points after this first round with the deciding round to be ridden in Marlborough.
This weekend racing returns to local roads with a graded circuit race on the Lower Wairau course encompassing Dillons Point Road, Swamp Road, and Rowberrys Road. A and B grades cover 42km, C grade 35km, and the D grade 28km. Meet at the corner of Dillons Point Rd and Rowberrys Rd for Registration 1:00PM with racing getting underway at 1:30PM.
Also this weekend is Round 5 of the Calder Stewart Elite Series being held in Nelson – the ‘Kiwi Style Bike Trails Nelson Classic’. Cuddon Cycling Marlborough riders Ethan Batt and Mitchell Mol are riding in the U23 classification, Georgia Catterick in the U19 classification, Kim Marshall in the Senior classification, and Rhonda Murphy plus Susan van der Pol in the Masters classification. The course is similar to that used in last weekends Interclub fixture and it’s expected to see some good racing with just one round left in this years series.
1 Daniel Reid (U17) 1:37:21
2 Mitchell Mol +00:06
3 Chris Heywood +00:11
4 Dean Fulton +00:30
5 Sean O'Neill +00:32
6 Gerard van Antwerpen +03:34
7 Nick Batt +07:33
8 Ethan Batt +11:56
1 Niels van Antwerpen (U17) 1:46:08
2 Hugh Trollope +00:03
3 Finn Fisher-Black (U17) +00:05
4 Luc Cowley +00:19
5 Shaun Woods (U17) +00:28
6 Ari Scott (U17) +00:53
11 Joel Madsen Clark (U17) ST
15 Martin Fletcher ST
17 Kim Marshall ST
23 Rhonda Murphy +02:37
25 Mike Murphy +02:54
26 Susan Van der Pol +03:47
27 Dylan Hodson +04:20
28 Jason Clark +05:28
1 Symon Mitchell 1:54:37
6 Ian Martella +00:44