The Tank Guy/Bikebox team was the winner in yesterday’s race three of the Trust House North Island Road Cycling Series held in South Wairarapa, on a circuit that included a 2km section of gravel road.

Beginning in the wine village of Marinborough, riders headed towards Tora in warm, sunny conditions.  Action started very early in the elite grade with Jack Compton (Skoda) the first one to make a breakaway after 15 kilometers of racing.  At the halfway turn he was almost a minute in front of the chasing bunch of nine riders.

The chasers lead by the Tank Guy/Bike box team slowly reeled him back near the wind station and by the time the riders entered the gravel road circuit, Josh Page and Matt Webb-Smith were in the lead with the rest of the bunch in hot pursuit.  In the end Josh Page won the sprint, giving him 25 points to take the lead in the elite grade. Afterwards he was thrilled.  “I felt really good out there today, I set my goals on winning the series, now that I have taken the lead [it] may be possible to go the whole way but we also have three riders on the top three on the general classification and as long as any of us win, it’s good for the team.”

“Today’s plan was to ride as a team, control the race and have a go near the end, work for us, me and Matt went away and the rest controlled the bunch and the race was over basically.  Looking forward to the next race to the top of Rangitumau Hill in another three weeks,” Page said.

Wellington’s Andrew Young leads the chase on the gravel, photo provided

In the masters one grade, the action also started early with Masterton rider Ben Knight breaking away early. He managed to get over a minute’s lead but the bunch chased him up the hill near Tora and a group of nine riders went to the turn.  On the way back with around 35km to go, two riders went to the front.  Current grade leader Steve Bale (Fitlab) Brendan McGrath and Callum Kennedy (Roadworks) entered the gravel together with the bunch of 30 riders only 45 seconds behind.  In the end it was a four-man sprint with Kennedy taking the race followed by McGrath and Bale with the main bunch over three minutes behind.  

In the Mitre 10 Mega Masterton sponsored Masters Two race, four riders manage to break away early on and by the time they entered the gravel, their lead was over two minutes from the chasing bunch.  The four, Brent Backhouse (Meo GP), Rob Kilvington (PNP), Ian Painting (Kiwivelo) and Huib Buych (Totalhome) went on to contest the final sprint with Backhouse taking the race followed by Buych who regained the series lead and Rob Kilvington in third place.

The fourth race of the North Island Series will be held on Saturday 11th November and is the “Queen Stage” of the series with riders facing the first major hill of the series. Riders will race from Rangitumau towards Alfredton and Tirumea via Mauriceville and Dryers Rock before returning to the finish at the top of Rangitumau hill.

Race three results – Trust House North Island Team Series

Elite grade

1st Josh Page – Tank Guy/Bike box team.  New series leader

2nd Matt Webb-Smith – Tank Guy/Bike box team.

3rd Madi Harley-Brown – Tank Guy/Bike box team. Leader U/23

Masters One

1st Callum Kennedy – Roadworks team

2nd Brendan McGrath – Roadworks team

3rd Steve Bale – Fitlab Team – Current series leader

Masters Two

1st Brent Backhouse – Meo GP

2nd Huib Buyck – Total Home Theatre.  New series leader

3rd Rob Kilvington – PNP Masters

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