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Cycling Otago clean up round 6 Benchmark series
Oct 6th, 12 Deteriorating conditions with gusty winds and plummeting temperatures made for a hard day in the saddle at Round 6 of the Benchmark Homes Elite Cycling series in Nelson.
The 128 km men's race was won by Brad Evans while Reta Trotman backed up her Round Five victory two weeks ago to win the 113 km women's race.
Both riders represent Cycling Otago. Evan's win was a first Elite Cycling Series win for the Cycling Otago men's team since the series began in 2005.
In the women's race, aggressive riding from Trotman saw a break of four riders split off the front on the first set of hills.
The group worked well together to establish a sizeable gap. More pressure from Trotman on the final hills shook off Women's Overall Leader Karen Fulton (Tasman Wheelers), leaving just three to contest the sprint.
Trotman attacked heading into the final turn and, with 400 m to the line, held off the chase from Sharlotte Lucas (second) and Haley Mercer (third), both Benchmark Homes. A strong finish from remaining Benchmark Homes rider Marewa Kraak in the bunch gave the Benchmark Homes Team the winning team for the round and lengthened their lead in the Overall Team standings. Fulton retains the Women's Leader's jersey.
The men's race was animated by multiple attacks in the early stages of the race. A decisive break of seven riders established after about 50 km of racing. A gutsy bridge from Alex McGregor (CycleWorld) made the break eight, with one rider representing each team – and seven of the eight riders U23.
Riders in the break worked well together while early, aggressive riding took its toll on much of the peloton. Staying warm became a challenge as temperatures dropped and icy rain replaced sunshine. The peloton whittled down and the gap went out to as much as a minute.
With 20 km remaining in the race, the break began to tire and the gap came down to within 25 s. Attempts to bridge shattered the remaining peloton, while in the break efforts to escape were initiated by Darcy Ellerm-Norton (Benchmark Homes) on the final hills.
Ellerm-Norton was quickly chased down and, with 5 km to go, Evans escaped. Brad Tuhi (Homestyle Test Team) bridged and the pair worked well together to hold off the chase with Evans winning out in the sprint followed by Tuhi in second and Ellerm-Norton leading the bunch kick for third.
Paul Gough (CycleWorld) was the top Masters rider on the day with Mark Spessot retaining the Masters' Leader's Jersey. The win gave Evans the U23 Overall Leader's Jersey while Chris Nicholson (Tasman Wheelers) took over the Men's Overall Jersey. The top men's team on the day was Scotty Browns while Benchmark Homes retain the Overall Team lead.
Roadcycling.co.nz has been informed by race director Lisa Ward "Tomorrow there is a Cathedral Criterium in Nelson, kicking off at 12:30 for B grade and women, and going through to the Elite and A grade riders signing on at 2:30pm".
Bradley Tuhi looks to be lining up for another good hit out on a tight and technical circuit " just like the good old days of the TNL tour! Let's hope the historic racing from Fowler, Miller and Dahlberg is replicated at the Cathedral tomorrow" said Ward.
1 41 Brad Evans Cycling Otago Male U23 3:13:42
2 26 Bradley Tuhi Homestyle Test Team Male U23 ST
3 5 Darcy Ellerm-Norton Benchmark Homes Cycling Team Male U23 +00:18
4 18 Richard Lawson Scotty Browns - Vision Systems Male U23 ST
5 31 Tim Rush SKF Racing Male U23 +00:19
6 38 Michael Naylor Fitlab Male Senior ST
7 20 Alex McGregor Cycle World Male U23 +00:20
8 14 Robin Reid Scotty Browns - Vision Systems Male Senior +00:24
9 25 Tom Hubbard Homestyle Test Team Male U23 +00:25
10 1 Anthony Chapman Benchmark Homes Cycling Team Male Senior +00:26
11 15 Jason Allen Scotty Browns - Vision Systems Male Senior +00:31
12 2 Andrew Williams Benchmark Homes Cycling Team Male Senior +00:44
13 32 Andy van der Hayden SKF Racing Male U23 +01:14
14 7 Chris Nicholson Tasman Wheelers Male Senior +01:25
15 22 Mark Spessot Cycle World Male Master ST
16 39 Greg Taylor Fitlab Male Senior ST
17 12 Sean Hambrook Tasman Wheelers Male U23 +05:07
18 10 Daniel Ellison Tasman Wheelers Male U23 +05:22
19 30 Kyle Wood SKF Racing Male Senior +10:19
20 11 Kieran Hambrook Tasman Wheelers Male U23 ST
21 19 Scott Lyttle Cycle World Male Senior +15:33
22 29 Shane Archbold SKF Racing Male Senior ST
23 21 Paul Gough Cycle World Male Master ST
24 8 Dean Fulton Tasman Wheelers Male Senior +24:06
28 Chad Adair Homestyle Test Team Male U23 DNF
16 Jeremy Inglis Scotty Browns - Vision Systems Male Senior DNF
13 Brian Grant Tasman Wheelers Male Master DNF
9 Chris Sharland Tasman Wheelers Male Senior DNF
6 George Tutton Benchmark Homes Cycling Team Male U23 DNF
3 Ben Robertson Benchmark Homes Cycling Team Male Senior DNF
17 Reon Nolan Scotty Browns - Vision Systems Male Senior DNF
42 Mitchell Cooper Cycling Otago Male Senior DNF
43 Ashley Whitehead Cycling Otago Male Senior DNF
44 David Ayre Cycling Otago Male Senior DNF
37 Nathan Dahlberg Fitlab Male Senior DNF
36 Andrew Jamieson Fitlab Male Senior DNF
23 Gary Gardiner Cycle World Male Master DNF
27 James McCoy Homestyle Test Team Male U23 DNS
24 Mitchell Podmore Homestyle Test Team Male U23 DNS
40 Conal Sloan Fitlab Male U23 DNS
1 231 Reta Trotman Cycling Otago Female Women 3:28:22
2 226 Sharlotte Lucas Benchmark Homes Cycling Team Female Women ST
3 227 Haley Mercer Benchmark Homes Cycling Team Female Women +00:01
4 220 Karen Fulton Tasman Wheelers Female Women +01:21
5 223 Kayley Murdoch Tasman Wheelers Female Women +15:40
6 224 Marewa Kraak Benchmark Homes Cycling Team Female Women ST
7 229 Tracy Clark Thule Composite Female Women +15:41
8 233 Rhonda Murphy Cycling Otago Female Women ST
9 230 Sarah Smallman Thule Composite Female Women ST
10 221 Tania Radman Tasman Wheelers Female Women +15:42
11 222 Caitlin Holmes Tasman Wheelers Female Women +15:43
12 228 Annaliisa Farrell Thule Composite Female Women +15:47
234 Eloise Fry Cycling Otago Female Women DNF
232 Elyse Fraser Cycling Otago Female Women DNS
225 Julia Grant Benchmark Homes Cycling Team Female Women DNS