O’Neill Takes Win With Strong Finish

Olympic rowing representative Sean O’Neill produced a powerful finish to take line honours in Cuddon Cycling Marlborough’s handicap event at Renwick last Saturday afternoon.
The open grade 40km event covered a course on the Waihopai Valley Road from Grove Mill Winery to just beyond Craiglochart and return. The four handicap groups gradually closed up on the outward journey with the O’Neill’s 5 minute break bunch pulling in the 11 minute group with 12km to go. The group then pounced on frontrunner Joe Blakiston (off 16m) with 5km remaining. O’Neill shot clear on the final straight to take victory by 5 seconds to Glen Herkt (off 5m), Kim Marshall (off 5m) and Marty Bruce (off 11m). The scratch group sprinted in just 1 minute later with Gerard van Antwerpen taking the time honours from Tony Catterick, Dylan Vile and Nick Batt respectively.
The junior under 17 grade competed in a 20km handicap event also on the Waihopai Valley Road. Front marker Sam Morgan (off 14m) had an excellent ride to drop his co-marker earl on and hung on to beat his nearest challengers by 38 seconds. The 9 minute group worked well together to sprint for the minor placings. Shaun Woods headed off Niels van Antwerpen and Joseph Westend respectively. Scratch rider Ethan Batt outsprinted co-marker Thomas Westend for fastest time honours.
Tomorrow afternoon Cuddon Cycling Marlborough’s riders will compete in handicap races from the Fairhall hall. All riders are to assemble at 1pm for a 1.30pm start.
Open grade 40km handicap, S O’Neill (off 5m) 1, G Herkt (off 5m) 2, K Marshall (off 5m) 3, M Bruce (off 11m) 4, A Gifford (off 5m) 5, R Murphy (off 11m) 6, R Hill (off 11m) 7, J Blakiston (off 16m) 8, G van Antwerpen (off scr) 9, T Catterick (off scr) 10. Fastest time, G van Antwerpen (scr) 58m 25s 1, T Catterick (scr) 58m 35s 2, D Vile (scr) s.t. 3, N Batt (scr) 58m 45s 4, S O’Neill (5m) 62m 20s 5.
Junior Under 17 grade 20km handicap, S Morgan (off 14m) 1, S Woods (off 9m) 2, N van Antwerpen (off 9m) 3, J Westend (off 9m) 4, J Greer (off 9m) 5. Fastest time, E Batt (off scr) 30m 37s 1, T Westend (off scr) s.t. 2, C Grammer (off 1m 30s) 33m 38s 3.