The Northbank Road, along the Wairau River, was the venue for Cuddon Cycling Marlborough’s handicap cycling race last Saturday, on a beautiful, calm autumn afternoon. The program listed a 40 and an 80km option for the riders, many of which used this as one of their final preparation races for the coming national championships in 10 days’ time.
The course with turn points at 20 and at 30km, was fairly flat with some minor climbs near the end turn point.
The 80km race went out to the 30km turn, then back to the 20km turn and back up again to the far end for the final turn home. The field was divided into 3 groups, the 6 man strong break group, with an 8 minute handicap worked well together and caught the 2 front markers with a 15min handicap just before the half way mark.
The resulting group of 8 stuck together till the last few km’s when first Sam Spencer and then Sam Morgan tried to escape a sprint finish. They both got reeled back in by the others and Dylan Hodson, who had kept his calm, launched a powerful sprint in the final 300 meters to pull away from the bunch to win convincingly. Sam Morgan held of Andrew Bidwell for 2nd place.
Meanwhile the 5 strong scratch bunch, after a conservative 1st half of the race, started to make headway into the handicap gap, gaining 2 minutes in the last 20km. But this was by no means enough to threaten the group ahead, which still held a lead of over 4 minutes on the line. Gerard van Antwerpen sprinted to the fastest time of the day, ahead of Ray Dunstan and Niels van Antwerpen.
In the shorter race over 40km, Stacey Mitchell, off a 12m handicap, dropped her co-marker Jess Spencer, and held of scratch riders Adam Bidwell and Katie Batt by only 1 second.
Fastest time went to Adam Bidwell, with Katie Batt 2nd, and Martyn Bruce 3rd.
Last Wednesday the last of the CycleWorld 16km time trials was held on the New Renwick course, this also being the last preparation race for the nationals for the time trial specialists. Calm conditions saw Ray Dunstan easily as the fastest rider of the night, with a solid time of 20m07sec. However the ride of the night went to Niels van Antwerpen, who managed to break the 14 year old record for junior Under-17 riders. He bettered Sam Reed’s time of 21:48, set in 2002, by 9 seconds and recorded a 21m39s.
80km: 1. Dylan Hodson (off 8m); 2. Sam Morgan (8m); 3. Andrew Bidwell (8m); 4. Rhonda Murphy (15m); 5. Martin Fletcher (15m); 6. Sam Spencer (8m); 7. Andrew Morgan (8m); 8. Greg Baunton (8m); 9. Gerard van Antwerpen (scr); 10. Ray Dunstan (scr); 11. Niels van Antwerpen (scr); 12. Ethan Batt (scr); 13. Tim Burfoot (scr).
Fastest time: 1. G. van Antwerpen (scr) 1h57m4s; 2. R. Dunstan (scr) at 1 sec; 3. N. Van Antwerpen (scr) at 4s; 4. E. Batt (scr) at 4s; 5. T.Burfoot (scr) at 2m52s; 6. D. Hodson (8m) at 3m18s.
40km : 1. Stacey Mitchell (off 12m); 2. Adam Bidwell (scr); 3. Katie Batt (scr); 4. Martyn Bruce (scr); 5. Richard Hill (scr); 6. Jess Spencer (12m)
Fastest time: 1. A. Bidwell (scr) 1h07m28s; 2. K. Batt (scr) at 1s; 3. M. Bruce (scr) at 5s; 4. R. Hill (scr) at 5s); 5. S. Mitchell (12m) at 11m59s.
Wednesday 16km TT: 1. Ray Dunstan, 20:07; 2. Niels van Antwerpen **U17 RECORD**, 21:39; 3. Dylan Hodson, 22:07; 4.Martin Fletcher, 22:11; 5.Andrew Bidwell, 22:35; 6.Rhonda Murphy, 22:53; 7.Sam Spencer, 23:14; 8. Jim Luff, 24:30; 9. Bob Barnes, 24:49; 10. David Simpson, 28:03; 11. Steven Simpson, 29:32; 12. Jessica Spencer, 30:32