The Trust House North Island team series is set for a thrilling finale in the Wairarapa this weekend, with overall victory in the series on the line. This Sunday’s final race held on the outskirts of Masterton will decide the overall 2017 Trust House winner. Chasing Madi Hartley-Brown are two of his team mates, Matt Webb-Smith and Josh Page followed by Phiten-Breadcraft-Cottage Lane rider Anthony Nalder.
Just seven points separate the series leader in the elite grade Madi Hartley-Brown riding for the Tank Guy/Bikebox team from four other riders. In the team’s competition, Tank Guy/Bikebox is also leading the table with Phiten-Breadcraft-Cottage Lane team four points behind.
Race Director Jorge Sandoval says any of these four riders are in with a chance to take the series title. He says Madi Hartley-Brown must finish in the top three to ensure the overall victory. “With the top places so close this week, racing will be all about team tactics. This will suit Hartley-Brown who can let other riders go up the road while he concentrates in marking Nalder,” says Sandoval. “The cards are on Nalder and his team mates to be aggressive and attack Hartley-Brown, this is the beauty of team’s racing.”
The final winner in the Mitre 10 Masterton 34-44 master’s grade will also be decide in the final sprint of race five. Brendan McGrath racing for Roadworks Reparto Corse is only one point in front of last year’s series winner Steve Bale from Fitlab with Matthew Webber from Rivet Racing another nine points behind.
Brendan McGrath has been very consistent in all four previous races, finishing in the first five places across all of them, ensuring points that will count this coming Sunday. He fought his way to the top of Rangitumau Hill in race four to finish in fifth place to protect his lead.
The excitement will be tangible in the masters two grade with two riders on equal points, former Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Gary Anderson riding for Velo Ronny’s Trek and Huib Buyck from Total Home Theatre team have been fighting for the lead race after race but now with only one race to go they are equal on 77 points.
Both riders have been very consistent over the four previous races, Huib Buyck struggled up Rangitumau Hill on race four coming two places behind Anderson but his determination to finish in the top 10 and earn 10 points, kept him in the hunt for a series win heading into the final round.
Chasing Anderson and Buyck is previous race winner, Wellington’s Rob Kilvingnton racing for PNP. In the teams competition team Optimal Performance has already secured their 2017 title racing very consistently every race, always placing riders in top places and securing points for the title.
Sandoval is looking forward to the outcome of the final race and is already planning next year’s series. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of people that have taken part in the Trust House series, we have riders practically from all over the country coming to the races. Over 210 riders have entered the races with the biggest field always in the master’s grades. Changing the format and presenting new race routes has proven successful with most riders endorsing all circuits, I will work hard to encourage more riders to come to Wairarapa and take part in the series in 2018”. Sandoval said.
Sunday’s final race will start from Henley Lake in Masterton and will finish at Black Rock Road. Riders will ride towards Alfredton via Whangaehu Valley Rd before returning to the finish.