Logan Griffin has won this year’s Gravel and Tar Classic. The 20 year old got the better of fellow young rider Alex West after the two of them broke away; with Alex Ray taking the final podium spot.
This year’s Gravel and Tar Classic, sponsored by Avantiplus and Hotel Coachman, took on 100km of racing with 35km of that being on gravel roads, making for a very tough day in the saddle. Palmerston North City played host to the start and finish line with the riders going on a long loop out that rolled its way upwards before descending back into the city to finish.
The gravel predictably was a major defining point for the riders, separating the contenders out and putting minutes between the top ten. A breakaway group of five riders eventually dropped to a group of three with Spoken Coaching’s Logan Griffin escaping with AvantiPlus Palmerston North’s Alex West and independent rider Alex Ray over the course. Behind them Sam Phipps of GPM Stulz Australia and Griffin’s teammate Josh Haggerty were caught in no man’s land between the leaders and two chasers in Team Skoda Racing’s Robert Stannard and GPM Stulz’s Rylee Field.
Unfortunately bad luck struck Ray, who punctured twice, leaving Logan Griffin and Alex West to fight it out on their own. In the finishing sprint it was Griffin who managed to get the better of his breakaway companion and take the win; and the $3000 first prize.
Afterwards Griffin spoke to Stuff, saying, “I was just lucky to survive, it turned into a bit of a last-man-standing race; a real battle of attrition.”
The news got better for Griffin as behind him his Spoken Coaching teammates finished strongly with Joshua Haggerty fifth and Ryan Wills in ninth to secure the team classification ahead of AvantiPlus Palmerston North and Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels Wellington.