Logan Griffin took the second round of the Dynamo Winter Fun Ride Series in Hamilton over the weekend, winning ahead of Xander White and Drew Christensen after 75km of racing. Despite taking the win, Griffin was exceptionally impressed with the rise of U19 riders who filled four of the top 7 places on the day.
Starting and finishing in Tamahere, round 2 of the Dynamo Winter Fun Ride Series took in two laps of a hilly circuit that headed towards Morrinsville before heading back to the finish. It would prove to be the climbs that would be decisive for the riders, with the first climb coming after almost 15km.
“The race was pretty uneventful until we got to the bottom of the Tahuroa, up there the first time the bunch really split and 8 of us split away over the top,” Griffin told RoadCycling. “We worked well and established a gap quickly. Of this group I was the only one who didn’t have to go to school on Monday so I think that shows the current strength of the U19’s in Waikato/Auckland!”
Among the riders in the leading group were Xander White and Drew Christensen, Josh Lane, Brad Jones and Theo Gilbertson. For Lane and Gilbertson the weekend’s racing provided added opportunity to train and prepare for the upcoming UCI World Road Championships in Austria where they will take their place in the junior squad that also includes Sam Cook.
Lane’s strength on the second lap really came to the fore and by the time the summit of the Tahuroa was reached the leaders had been whittled down to a group of four. “The second time up the climb the Josh Lane really put the pressure on and It was only myself, Xander White and Drew Christensen left at the top,” Griffin explained. “Again we pushed hard on the decent and established a good gap.”
With 6km to go Griffin attacked his breakaway companions and got a gap, holding on to a 14 second advantage at the finish line to take the win ahead of Xander White who in turn gapped Christensen and Lane by 7 seconds at the line. It is the second consecutive victory for Spoken Cycles at the Series, with Alex Heaney taking out round 1. Sadly though victory for Griffin was marred by very sad news. “Although it was a great day of racing we were very sad to hear of the incident of one of the riders out on the course who we have now learned has passed away. From my understanding this was a medical issue and nothing to do with the event or motorist or anything like that but regardless our thoughts are with the family and friends of that rider.”
Eva Parkinson was the first of the women across the line. The U19 rider finished 14 seconds clear of Ali Wilson, with Hayley Gallagher completing the top three.
In the 50km event U15 rider Blake Bailey came away with a well-taken solo victory, finishing 42 seconds ahead of U19 rider Samara Maxwell who got the better of Alex Fierro; who finished 4mins ahead of Myles Lou in fourth and Lewis Johnston in fifth. Bonnie Rattray was the second female across the line, with Maddie Harris third.
The final round of the series takes place in Cambridge this Sunday.