Cuddon Cycling Marlborough started their Winter Series of races last Saturday afternoon, on the roads of the Lower Wairau area. The series will run through till early October and has a number of different formatted events, from handicap, graded, mass-start handicaps road races to individual and two-up time trails. Most of these events provide both for the experienced riders as well as for the younger or starting riders with longer and shorter events on the same courses on the Saturday afternoons.
The 1st race, in cool conditions with a stiff southerly blowing across much of the course, still attracted a fair number of riders for the 3 laps, 42km long event.
The handicapping, always hard to do in this part of the year, with the fitness levels of the riders varying according to the training they have done over the last couple of months without racing, proved to be not far off for the 2 front groups. The 7 man strong limit bunch, of 12 minutes, only got caught in the last couple of kilometres before the finish by the 5 min. break group. However the chase had taken so much out of these riders that in the end they did not manage to fully get to the front in the sprint for the first place.
It was limit rider Nick Blakiston who proved too quick in the dash for the line and grabbing the Vincent Shield trophy, beating break riders Chris Grammer and Matt Wells. Meanwhile the scratch bunch of six lost a rider early on and the remaining five were not able to reach the front of the race, still being about 2m20sec behind at the end. It was Sean O'Neill who recorded the fastest time of the day, beating Gerard van Antwerpen, who started sprinting too early, comfortably. Very close behind Luc Cowley got 3rd fastest.
The 28km short race, over 2 laps, the Opening Day Cup was won by Fergus Greer riding on a 3m30s handicap, who held off the lone scratch rider, his brother James. Fergus had an excellent ride and also surprisingly got fastest time of the day, staying 22s ahead.
This weekend racing is around the Hawksebury area, assembly at the Fairhall Hall for the Funnel Trophy (long race) and xxxxxx (juniors in the short race).
Long race, 42km: 1. and Vincent Shield Nick Blakiston (12m); 2 Chris Grammer (5m); 3 Matt Wells (5m); 4 Graham Henderson (12m); 5 Greg Norton (12m); 6 Merrick Thompson (12m); 7 Dave Hutchison (12m); 8 Ian Martella (12m); 9 Glen Herkt (5m); 10 Mike Murphy (5m); 11 Sean O'Neill (SCR); 12 Gerard van Antwerpen (SCR); 13 Luc Cowley (SCR); 14 Jeremy McKenzie (SCR); 15 Matte Goode (SCR); 16 Martin Fletcher (5m); 17 Dylan Hodson (5m); DNF: Leatham Landon-Lane (12m); Ray Dunstan (SCR);
Fastest time: 1 S O'Neill (1hr3m20s); 2 G van Antwerpen (1hr03m20s); 3 L Cowley (1hr03m20s); 4 J McKenzie (1hr03m20s); 5 M Goode (1hr03m20s); 6 Cs Grammer (1h05m42s); 7 M Wells (1hr05m44s); 8 G Herkt (1hr06m15s); 9 M Murphy (1hr06m31s); 10 M Fletcher (1hr08m20s); 11 N Blakiston (1hr12m40s); 12 G Henderson (1hr12m46s); 13 G Norton (1hr12m46s); 14 M Thompson (1hr12m46s); 15 D Hutchison (1hr12m49s); 16 I Martella (1hr12m53s); 17 D Hodson (1hr13m15s); L Landon-Lane (DNF); R Dunstan (DNF);
Short race, 28km: 1. and Opening Day cup 1 Fergus Greer (3m30s); 2 James Greer (Scr);
Fastest time: 1 F Greer (51m08s); 2 J Greer (51m30s);
Meanwhile many of the junior school cyclist competed over 2 days in Christchurch in the South Island School Championships, consisting of individual and team time trials and a road race in the various age groups. Katie Batt continued her excellent form of recent weeks and was dominant in the under-14 girl's races, winning gold medals in both the time trial and road race. Jessica Spencer placed 5th in the same race. Hugh Straker also showed some good form, winning the silver in the under 13 boy's time trial and following up with a 5th place in the road race. The other riders performed well too, staying in the leading bunches in most races, however no more medals were won by Marlborough riders.
U13 Girls: 9th Caitlin Murphy
U13 Boys: 2nd Hugh Straker
U14 G: 1st Katie Batt, 6th Jessica Spencer
U14 B: 11th Adam Bidwell
U17 G: 11th Stacey Mitchell
U17 B: 12th Greg Baunton, 14th Andrew Bidwell, 15th Sam Morgan, 23rd Sam Spencer
U20 G: 7th Marie Peart
U20 B: 10th Callum Caughey
Team Time Trial:
Open Boys: 4th Marlb. Boys (S. Spencer, G. Baunton, S Morgan, C Caughey)
U13 G: 7th C Murphy
U13 B: 5th H Straker
U14 G: 1st K Batt, 5th J Spencer
U14 B: 9th A Bidwell
U17 G, 8th S Mitchell
U17 B: 8th A Bidwell, 10th S Morgan, 19th S Spencer
U20 G: 11th M Peart
U20 B: 9th C Caughey