Challenging hill climbs dominate race four of the Trust House North Island teams series being held on the outskirts of Masterton this weekend. Labelled as the “Queen” race of the series by event organiser Jorge Sandoval, Saturday’s 120km road race includes a 5km climb to the finish at the top of Rangitumau Hill.
“Race four will be really hard and it’s the one everyone has been waiting for. It features a series of large hills and a gruelling hill top finish,” says Sandoval. “I won’t be surprised if we get a new leader after this race. Rangitumau Hill has never been used for a top race before, club riders from Masterton usually ride up there once a year so it promises to get riders into the unknown”.
Leader in the Trust House elite grade, Josh Page, will fight hard to keep his two points lead over Palmerston North younger Madi Hartley Brown, while other riders to watch are the members of the Phiten Breadcraft and Tank Guy/Bikebox teams. In the Mitre 10 MEGA Masterton master’s grades, Steve Bale from Fitlab team leads the grade from Brendan McGrath by five points while Wellington’s Andrew Young is another ten points behind, but the whole points table could change after this race. Masters two leader is Wellington’s Huib Buyck from Total Home Theatre team with one of New Zealand’s greatest Gary Anderson only four points behind.
Sandoval says the Trust House Team series has given road cycling in New Zealand a big lift with all riders having to enter as a team. He says this gives them the opportunity to create a team environment with work mates, friends or other club riders. “With five races staged in the greater Wairarapa region between September and December 2017, riders of all abilities and from all over the country come and take part. Riders get a taste of high level competitive ‘teams’ racing only seen in large tours like the New Zealand Cycle Classic and the Women’s Tour of New Zealand,” he says. “It also give riders of all ages the chance to experience riding with support vehicles and a race convoy in a professionally run series.”
The fourth round of the Trust House North Island team series will be held on Saturday, November 11th.
All races starts from the Rangitumau Hall at 10.00am and finish at the top of Rangitumau Hill around 12.45pm. Elite men will complete a distance of 120km with both masters’ grades racing over a distance of 90km.