Sam Horgan justified his status as one of the riders to watch at this year’s Flight Centre K2 Road Cycle Classic by taking a dominant victory in the Elite Men’s race in Whitianga today.  Horgan finished ahead of Bryn Thorne-George who just got the better of Karl Poole in the sprint for second.

This year’s K2 event started and finished in Whitianga, with the riders starting with the climbs of Kuaotunu Hill and Myundermans Hill in quick succession, and then Whangapoua before the descent into Coromandel.  After that came Manaia and Kereta before Thames before the monster climb of Kopu-Hikuai and the final big climb of Punpkin Hill after going through Tairua.  Nicholas Magill of Crediflex Pro4mance arrived at the start line looking for a successful defence of his title.

But the script was largely torn apart by Hamish Bond who attacked early.  The double Olympic rowing champion decided not to play the patient game, launching up the climb of Whangapoua with a climb that had most of the field on the ropes.  Eventually though a small group of five riders were able to rally together in pursuit of Bond.  What might have been we can only speculate, but sadly we would never know how Hamish Bond’s race might have finished had he made it all the way to the line.  Two crashes would take Bond off the bike and eventually out of the race, with the slick conditions striking over the course of the day.

Heading into Thames then, the head of the race had changed to the five pursuers; Sam Horgan, Cameron Wynniatt, Bryn Thorne-George, Oliver Young and Karl Poole.  That would be the way the race largely panned out until the climb of Kopu-Hikuai and the run in to Pumpkin Hill saw five drop to just three as Poole, Thorne-George and Horgan dropped Wynniatt and Young.

As with the elite women’s race the race-winning move came on the climb of Pumpkin Hill.  Horgan’s strong pace-setting finally cracked both Bryn Thorne-George and Karl Poole, leaving the Mike Greer Homes rider out on the front and not looking back.  Horgan proceeded to time trial to the win, 7 minutes ahead of Bryn Thorne-George and Karl Pool, with Oliver Young and Cameron Wynniatt completing the top five ahead of Nicholas Magill and Nick Reddish.

Results:
Pos. Rider Category Time

1

Sam Horgan M23+ 5.05.27

2

Bryn Thorne-George M23+ 5.12.28

3

Karl Poole M23+ 5.12.28

4

Oliver Young M18-22 5.25.16

5

Cameron Wynniatt M23+ 5.25.17

6

Nicholas Magill M23+ 5.29.07

7

Nick Reddish M18-22 5.29.07

8

Nathan Bunn M23+ 5.40.58

9

Michael Carswell M18-22 5.40.59

10

Shawn Savage M18-22 5.42.18

11

Jonathon Hazelton M23+ 6.03.41

12

Richard Mellsop M23+ 7.04.39
  Chris Denholm M18-22 DNF
  Hamish Bond M23+ DNF
  Cosmo Bloor M18-22 DNF

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