Controversial Opening Day

New rider Sue Heagney won the Vincent Shield in controversial circumstances at Cuddon Cycling Marlborough’s opening day at Forrest Estate Winery last Saturday afternoon.
The open grade 32km handicap event covered 4 laps of the Coners Bend/Renwick circuit. On the relatively calm day all bunches rode well which headed for a tight finish in the final lap. The controversy appeared when it was noticed that a non-starter was riding in the 8 minute group assisting their progress. Part of this group just caught the leading 20 minute bunch in the latter stages to take the first three placings. Five riders were disqualified from the results.
Heagney who finished a close up fourth took the trophy over her co-markers Gill Painter and Sharon de Castro after some good solid teamwork through the race. Marty Bruce (3min) and Martin Fletcher led a big bunch sprint in 30 seconds later for 4th and 5th place respectively. A well deserved fastest time went to Gerard van Antwerpen who sneaked away from the scratch group in the last 2 kilometres to hold off Robin Reid and Richard Anderson by a couple of seconds at the line.
The junior under 17 grade raced over 2 laps of the circuit (16km) for the Opening Day Cup. Callum Saunders (off 3m) rode an excellent race to haul in Quinn Karwowski (4m) and new rider Nathan McIntyre (6m) in the final lap to take a close win in the sprint from Karwowski. Saunders also took fastest time after scratch rider Ethan Roach took a wrong turn.
Open grade- Vincent Shield 32km hcp, S Heagney (off 20m) 1, G Painter (off 20m) 2, S de Castro (off 20m) 3, M Bruce (off 3m) 4, M Fletcher (off 5m) 5, M Mulder (off 3m) 6, A Milne (off 5m) 7, G Herkt (off 3m) 8, S Rooney (off 3m) 9, R Murphy (off 5m) 10. Fastest time, G van Antwerpen (scr) 46m 32s 1, R Reid (scr) 46m 34s 2, R Anderson (scr) s.t. 3, J Hawke (scr) s.t. 4, D Craig (scr) s.t. 5.
Junior under 17 grade- Opening Day Cup 16km hcp, C Saunders (off 3m) 1, Q Karwowski (off 4m) 2, N McIntyre (off 6m) 3, T Cresswell (off 10m) 4, D Cresswell (off 6m) 5. Fastest Time, C Saunders (3m) 29m 34s 1, Q Karwowski (4m) 30m 34s 2, E Roach (scr) 31m 27s 3.