The first TT series for 2016 has just wound up with a BBQ and a generous spread of prizes, spot and merit.
The weather has been superb for this series, and seen both the mens and womens records falling, thanks to light winds and warm temperatures (resulting in lower air density, thanks for that gem, Barry Gilliland).
New record holders are Robert Stannard, with a blistering time of 14:50 for the 12km, and Megan Blatchford, who lowered Ellen Van Loys briefly held womens record from 18:22 to 18:17 just last night. The points series win was shared by Ewan Cousins, Barry Gilliland and Steve Stannard. Other notable achievers during the series included Thomas Stannard who managed to grow 3cm over 8 weeks and Sam Russell who demonstrated a perfect track stand start on the final night, which included setting his watch on the count of "5".
Thanks to Tom and Catriona Pirie for stepping up to run the series, and to the stalwart parents who turn up to support their kids every week and end up supporting everybody else by taking on the timing, or holding riders, or driving to the turn around to keep the cows company out by the drain. Thanks also to Mike Groube for cheerfully ensuring traffic management is in place each and every week.
They were gathered in the plaza, by the clock tower in the Square,
With their double shot espressos from the car,
While the Chief Comm gave the briefing, “Keep it safe and keep it fair,
For the first inaugural running of The Gravel and The Tar.”
As they headed out to Ashhurst, there was action from the gun,
With the young bloods ever keen to test their strength
But every move was risky, there was money to be won,
No one keen to leave a gap of any length.
The Aussie’s thought they’d own it, being more suited to the heat1,
For a scorcher had been forecast for the race.
But despite the soaring temps, their plan was incomplete,
They clearly hadn’t counted on the pace.
In fact, the final move went early, far too early some would say,
With 90 k of racing stretched ahead.
The peleton was lazy, it would never stay away,
“They’re dreamin’” was the sentiment oft said.
Warm, fast conditions were the order of the day on 2 December. Almost everybody posted fastest times. Carne Groube finally cracked 16 minutes with a 15:59.61 and Robert Stannard broke through the mystical 15:15 barrier with a 15:11. If anyone can recall a faster time than this let me know, otherwise it can stand as the new record. Libby Arbuckle is starting to threaten the Women's fastest time, going under 19 minutes this week with 18:54 - watch out!
A big thanks to Mike Groube, Tim Lloyd and Wayne Fenn who took over in the Stannard's absence, and for all of those others who lent a hand on the night. Next week is the last contributing to the points series, Tom Pirie, Glenys Taylor, Michael Richmond and Barrie Eccles are the front runners, but not so far ahead that they can't be caught! See you then, Katherine.
The TT was start time was brought forward to accommodate the numerous regular riders who would be going to the Boys High Prizegiving night. Despite the change in time, only two Boys High riders turned up to race! Thanks to those who read the Facebook post and turned up early, and apologies to those who missed the message.
David Martin was the fastest for the night with 15:36, followed by Jake Jackson-Grammar with 17:20, and then Barrie Gilliland on 18:16. Notable times from Libby Arbuckle and Emma Crum (both 19:21) and Stuart McKinnon; the latter posting a respectable 22:09 in his first ever TT!
That completes the points for the pre-Christmas TT series.
Next Wed will be the last TT, but for fun only (though isn’t it always?), and prize-giving.
Usual time of 6 pm.
It may as well have been winter and not the latter part of spring. The chilly and very windy conditions were not going to enable any new records over the 12 km course, though some fairly quick times were still recorded. James Denholm rode a notable 16:41 to earn two points for getting his fastest time this series, and the only other riders to get two points for bettering a previous effort were Dineth Rajapaksi and Katherine Stannard. Some others did indeed get two points, but because it was their first Wed Night TT for this series; Megan Gardner, Emma Crum, Nate Levin, Connie O’Brien, Andrew McKenzie, John Sheehan, and Robert Stannard. Robert rode the fastest time of the night, and indeed the series to date, with 15:31. Let’s hope for some warmer temperatures and still conditions for the next few weeks!