While many of the Cuddon Marlborough Cycling club's riders raced further south in the club nationals during the end of last week, a small field took on three laps (45km) of the Taylor Pass circuit on Saturday afternoon, in windy but mild conditions.
Fastest time went to Gerard van Antwerpen from Mike Murphy and Graham Mitchell with Pete Halligan and Ian Martella also in the mix. While the riders stayed together in the first lap, the pressure was put on during the outward leg of the 2nd lap, with Murphy and Van Antwerpen pulling away, trying to gain time on the others for the sealed handicap results. Former fastest time winner Nick Blakiston found the pace a bit too hot and abandoned at the end of this lap.
Van Antwerpen jumped away from Murphy in latter stages of the race and gained 30 seconds in the last 3km to the finish line, which was not quite enough to win the handicap section, with both ending up on equal time and tying for first. The other handicap times were also close, with Graham Mitchell (5min) back only 34seconds and Pete Halligan (5min 30sec) just another 18 seconds.
The rolling nature of the course and head wind on the homeward leg may yet prove to be excellent preparation for the upcoming club championships on the demanding, and often windy Seaview course in Seddon.
In the Junior race over 30km (2 laps) Adam Bidwell and Stacey Mitchell stayed together, with Bidwell sprinting fastest towards the line for fastest time honours with Mitchell (off 30 sec) taking the sealed handicap.
Results: Seniors: 1. G. van Antwerpen, 45km in 1h13m45s; 2. M. Murphy at 30s; 3. G. Mitchell at 5m34s; 4. P. Halligan at 6m22s; 5. I Martella at 16m17s .
Sealed Handicap: 1= Van Antwerpen (scr) and Murphy (off 30s) 1h30m45s; 3. Mitchell (5m) 1h14m19s; 4. Halligan (5m30s) 1h14m37s; 5. Martella (12m) 1h17m02s
Juniors: 1. A. Bidwell 30km in 1h02m57s; 2. S. Mitchell ST.
Sealed handicap: 1. Mitchell (30s) 1h02m27s; 2. Bidwell (scr) 1h02m57s