David Rowlands off his day can still win races, so on his day he's a definite danger man and when it comes to who to look out for he's one of the top of the list, photo Eugene Bonthuys

David Rowlands (Port Nicholson Poneke Cycling Club) might have claimed the masters 2 title at the Vittoria Club Road National Championships in Alexandra, but it was far from easy. In fact, Rowlands described his victory over Brendon Vesty (Ramblers Cycling Club) and Blair Martin (Cycling Otago) as ‘by far the hardest win’.

The masters 2 men faced five laps of the 20 kilometre circuit, and the racing was on from the moment the flag dropped, as Shane Pointon (Cycling Southland) launched a telling attack that gave him a substantial lead over the peloton by the time they started the first climb.  In fact, Pointon’s attack was strong enough to leave him at the front of the race on his own for most of the first lap.

“The rest of us were looking at each other, as normal. There were a few attempts to bridge across, but eventually we got the peloton moving and caught him at the end of the first lap, and then it was pretty much just more attacks and people trying to get away,” recalled Rowlands.

There were a number of well-represented teams in the race, with Southland working quite hard, as did Cycling Otago and Papanui.  The work done by these teams meant that opportunities to get away were few, especially if you were a marked man like Rowlands. However, on the final lap he finally managed to get into a strong move as some of the other riders started fatiguing.

“Blair Martin attacked on the climb coming out of Alexandra, and I rode across to him on the climb. Brendon Vesty also rode across, and we rode hard across the rollers and managed to make a split,” said Rowlands.  The trio had their work cut out to hold off the peloton, but they worked together well to make it to the foot of the final climb with enough of a lead over the bunch to know that they would all be coming away with a medal. The colour of the medal was still to be decided though, and the hostilities started as soon as they made the left turn onto the climb.

“Blair led there, then Vesty attacked on a steep gradient and I went with him. I then counter-attacked him, but my legs were seizing up so I eased off again. At the end it came down to a two-man sprint and I managed to get it!” Rowlands said.
Vesty finished three seconds behind Rowlands to take the silver medal, with Martin a further ten seconds back in third, some 30 seconds clear of the chasing bunch behind.  Rowlands was quite relieved to take the win, as his lead up to the event had been less than ideal.  “I’ve been sick last week, so I felt pretty awful – it felt like a 200k race! I’ve won this a few times and this was by far the hardest win, it was tough,” he said.


Pos. Rider Team Time


David Rowlands PNP 2.33.42


Brendon Vesty Ramblers Cycling Club Inc 2.33.45


Blair Martin Cycling Otago 2.33.55


Glenn Rewi Papanui Cycling Club Inc 2.34.21


Scott McDonnell Papanui Cycling Club Inc 2.34.29


Scott Fairbairn Papanui Cycling Club Inc 2.34.29


Michael White Cycling Southland 2.34.29


Heath Lett Tauranga Road Cycling 2.34.29


Mark Parry Counties Manukau Cycling 2.34.30


Christopher Stevenson PNP 2.34.30


Brendan Akeroyd Cycling Southland 2.34.54


Stephen Lewthwaite Pegasus Cycling 2.34.54


Simon Earl Papanui Cycling Club Inc 2.37.05


Derek Tan Timaru Cycling Club 2.37.06


Brent Spencer PNP 2.37.06


Jake Rowse Cycling Otago 2.37.07


Hamish McDonald Timaru Cycling Club 2.37.13


John Randal PNP 2.37.53


Stuart Crooks Cycling Otago 2.39.38


Shane Pointon Cycling Southland 2.42.55


Andrew Lienert Cycling Southland 2.43.58


Michael Greaves Cycling Otago 2.53.32


Carl Haddon Cycling Otago 3.10.26
Alastair Forbes Central Otago-Wakatipu DNF
Alistair Burnett Cycling Southland DNF
Nick Beekhuis Cycling Otago DNF


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