Strong winds made racing difficult during race two of the Trust House North Island Team Series held in South Wairarapa yesterday.
Held on the same circuit as the 2017 race, the race that began in the wine village of Martinborough and headed south along the dramatic Cape Palliser coastline started in cold and windy conditions, then finished with a strong tail wind.
First to start was the Masters One grade including race favourite and 2016 Elite series winner Dave Weaver (Wheelworks), Weaver won the race but was unfortunately disqualified for failing to wear a race number and sign on before the start as required for all riders. Rivet Racing Matt Webber was moved to first place after a great ride with Napier rider Stuart Kilmister from MTF Finance team in second place 14 seconds behind and Kate McCallum in third for the Wheelworks cycling team.
Chasing hard behind were four other riders including the series leader, Christchurch’s Scott McDonnell riding for Fitlab team. McDonnell eventually managed to finish in fifth place over a minute behind; but gained enough points to keep the leader’s jersey going into race three later this month.
The masters two grade presented a totally different story, with the bunch together for the first 35 km, knowing that as soon as they turned left onto Cape Palliser Road strong crosswinds were waiting for them and a change of tactics and positions would unfold.
At Cape Palliser Road two riders proved to be the strongest up the hill and the crosswind, Matthew Stevens from Wellington riding for Kiwivelo team and Huib Buyck from the Total Home THT team. The pair broke away from the pack, and by the turn they had a lead of 45 seconds from 4 chasing riders with the main bunch a further 50 seconds behind. The two leaders rode well and cooperated with one another, and by the time they neared the finish they had a lead of over a minute from three chasing riders.
Stevens took the victory in a sprint finish with Buyck in second place, while Mike Dunne from Luxury Cycle Tours led the bunch in for third place. Stevens now takes the lead in the series with three races to go.
The Masters Three group went to the turn in a big bunch but things heated up on the way home with a strong tail wind. A group containing 14 riders managed to break away from the bunch, at the finish Wellington rider Ian Painting from Kiwivelo took line honours with Wairarapa’s Peter James from Tararua Builders coming in second place and Steve O’Keefe from Optimal Performance third.
Race Three of the Trust House Team Series will be held in two weeks with riders racing on familiar territory again … from Martinborough to Tora and back again. This race will include a section of gravel road in the final circuit near the town centre of Martinborough.
Trust House Masters One
1st. Matt Webber – Rivet Racing
2nd. Stuart Kilmister – MTF Finace
3rd. Kane McCollum – Wheelworks Handcrafted
Trust House Masters Two
1st. Matthew Stevens – Kiwivelo
2nd. Huib Buyck – THT team
3rd. Mike Dunne – Luxury Cycle Tours
Trust House Masters Three
1st. Ian Painting – Kiwivelo
2nd. Peter James – Tararua Builders Racing
3rd. Steve O’Keefe – Optimal Performance