Drama at the finish line, great team’s tactics, aggressive racing and a challenging hilly course was seen in race four of the Trust House North Island Team Series held in Wairarapa on Saturday.
Riders in all three masters grades started the race in cloudy conditions in what was arguably the most challenging race of the series to date thanks to a series of hill climbs, including the final 3km slog up Rangitumau hill on the outskirts of Masterton.
In all three races big bunches were together at the start of the final climb up Rangitumau, but that was a complete different story 3km later with big gaps among the field.
For the masters one grade the first part of the race was uneventful with most of the bunch together at the 45km turn at Alfredton, but that all changed on the way back with the final climb up Rangitumau hill playing a big part in the final outcome. A small group of the stronger riders managed to get a small gap but in the end current leader Brendan McGrath riding for Meo GP team proved too strong winning the race 22 seconds in front of Dave Weaver from Wheelworks team with Brent Backhouse coming in third another 29 seconds behind.
In Masters two and three grades many riders lost contact with the main bunch after 55km of racing climbing up Dryers Rock, and from there the bunch re-grouped. Seeing some early attacks by a few riders that came to nothing, the leading riders controlled the race waiting for the big showdown up the finishing hill.
In this race the most prominent riders at the front during the race and especially over the last 6km were riders from the Lone Star Palmerston team. A few of the riders in the team came to the Wairarapa during the week to ride the circuit and the Rangitumau hill climb in preparation and it paid off on Saturday with the team taking maximum points in the teams classification.
At the bottom of the hill current Masters two leader Matthew Stevens was seen riding hard at the front closely followed by another 4 riders, in the end four riders contested the sprint finish with Stevens coming in first but being later relegated to fourth place for not keeping his sprinting line and obstructing Huib Buyck from Total Home Theatre team who was credited with the win followed by last year’s winner Robert Kilvington from PNP team with Palmerston North Cliff Hughes in third place.
In the Masters Three grade the race was also exciting with the majority of the field close together at the bottom of Dryers Rock hill. Current grade leader Ian Paintin led a big bunch almost the entire hill climb to win the race by five seconds from Richard Sutton from Optimal Performance with Whanganui’s Pat Johnstone from Velo Ronny’s in third another 4 seconds behind.
Race director Jorge Sandoval said Saturday’s race was demanding with all riders endorsing the circuit.
In all grades, all winners of the Series will be decided in the final race on Sunday 2nd December. Race five will see with riders complete a 92km race from Masterton to Alfredton and back.
Brief results race four – Trust House North island Teams Series.
|1||Brendan McGrath||Meo GP||2:04:09.8|
|2||Dave Weaver||Wheelworks Handcrafted||2:04:31.8|
|3||Brent Backhouse||Meo GP||2:05:29.8|
|4||Gary Hall||MTF Finance||2:05:32.4|
|5||Tristan Thomas||Wheelworks Handcrafted||2:05:32.5|
New Leader: Brendan McGrath – Meo Gp
|1||Huib Buyck||THT Racing||2:10:20.2|
|3||Cliff Hughes||Lone star Palmerston North||2:10:21.5|
Leader: Matthew Stevens – Kiwivelo
|2||Richard Sutton||Optimal Performance||2:17:54.3|
|3||Pat Johnstone||Velo Ronny’s/Vittoria Team||2:17:57.8|
|4||Kevin Hart||Velo Ronny’s/Vittoria Team||2:17:59.3|
|5||Andrew Anson||Team Kapiti||2:18:06.6|
Leader: Ian Paintin – Kiwivelo