A cold morning welcome all riders to race one of the five race Trust House North Island Team Series, where riders completed the 80km race starting and finishing in Featherson via Lake Wairarapa and Martinborough with the finish in Featherston.
Christchurch Scott McDonnell riding for the Fitlab cycling team won the Masters one grade race with Nicolas Monroy from Hawkes Bay racing for the MTF Finance/Cycle Nation team coming in second place and Wellington’s Steve Bale also of Fitlab cycling team in third place.
They rode together and some early attacks by a few riders came to nothing with the riders controlling the race and waiting for the big showdown up the hill in the outskirts of Martinborough.
McDonnell attacked with approximately 34 kilometers to go and despite a hard chase by Monroy, Bale and Meo GP rider Brendan McGrath he still managed to cross the line on his own six seconds in front of the chasers. He will wear the Trust House leader’s jersey for master one in race two.
In the Masters Two grade the race was also exciting with the majority of the field close together for most of the race. After 61 kilometers Wellington rider Matthew Stevens riding for Kiwivelo broke away and managed to get a gap of 40 seconds but the bunch reeled him back at the entrance of Martinborough.
A few riders attacked up the climb near Featherston with seven riders managing to form a break and establish a lead of almost a minute with seven kilometres to go. Unfortunately a crash spoiled their chances with five riders coming down with only Stevens and Jonathan Leonard avoiding the crash and riding together to the finish. Leonard won the sprint with Stevens coming second and Paul Delahunty leading the large bunch for third place coming in twenty seconds behind.
In the masters three grade the race was dictated by two Wellington riders, Oliver Ferry from Optimal Performance team and Ian Painting from Kiwivelo. Ferry took the victory from Painting in a sprint finish with the bunch coming in almost three minutes behind and led by Steve O’Keefe.
Race director Jorge Sandoval said Sunday’s race proved to be a demanding day’s racing with all riders endorsing the circuit. Race two of the series is on Sunday 14th October when riders will race from Martinborough to Ngawi and back.
1st Scott McDonnell – Fitlab
2nd Nicolas Monroy – MTF Finance/Cycle Nation
3rd Steve Bale – Fitlab
1st Matthew Stevens – Kiwivelo
2nd Jonathan Leonard – Total Home Theatre Team
3rd Paul Delahunty – FFC Racing Team
1st Oliver Ferry – Optimal Performance Team
2nd Ian Painting – Kiwivelo
3rd Steve O’Keefe – Optimal Performance Team