Bike Manawatu Success at the North Island Series
One of the main aims of the bike Manawatu board for the last 3 years has been to return to the roots of our club, and increase participation in club racing.
It hasn’t happened overnight, but boy has it happened. To increase participation, we had to ensure we were running club races, and in the most cost effective way we could – Tim Lloyd upskilled and became qualified in STMS, and the club purchased a new timing system which Mike Craine has taken the reins of. – without these two giving up their time and energy we would not be where we are today.
Keryn our secretary has been amazing with TMP submissions and continually streamlining our logistics – so before I go any further I need to say a huge thank you to Mike, Tim, Keryn and their families – without your tireless efforts, we would not be where we are today
We slowly increased the races we had on offer, and reintroduced flat circuit racing at Linton and A1 loops – this bought is some first timers who fell in love with the buzz of racing, including club sponsor Rob Ryan from Palmfeild Motors who loved it so much he sponsored a 3 race series with free entry to the 3rd race for those that had entered race 1 and 2 as well as a barbecue after race 2 of the series. Participation was up and people were loving the racing we had on offer.
Then lockdown happened – and no one really knew what was ahead of us apart from late summer races and Age Group club Road Nationals were being postponed. We had to think outside the square and as the country moved down the levels, we reintroduced club racing – starting with an ITT and then a 2 up TT before we made a return to club races with the help of Mike Simpson and the team at Manawatu Schools Cycling – this was a partnership that was very beneficial to Bike Manawatu and again saw thriving numbers at our races. This year we had a record number of club members enter age group club nationals when they ran in July, and we had many entering for the first time.
Something we were hoping for was for Jorge Sandoval to change the format of his North Island series to a graded series instead of age group based racing, and when he did – we were eager to increase bike Manawatu’s participation from 1 team to 2, but interest was so great that we were able to enter 3 teams including a number of club juniors that we could introduce to teams racing with the support and guidance of our masters riders. Adding to that the WCNI , Base Solutions and Luxury Cycle Tours teams meant that there were 6 teams from Manawatu entering the series.
Although the North Island series is a team competition there is also kudos in the individual standings.
Race 1 of the series was cancelled due to weather conditions so race 2 the week later was our first chance to see how the new format worked out. All BM teams rode strong races with the Cat 2 second overall with max Ferguson getting 3rd place and Jeremy Rowe from WCNI in 4th place, Cat 3 I was 2nd overall with Dale Nicholls finishing in 1st place and getting the leaders jersey. Bike Manawatu Cat 4 was third overall in team standings with Chris Harris and Mike Thompson who are riding for Luxury Cycle Tours finishing 1st and 2nd with Lochie Foote from the bike Manawatu Cat 4 team finishing 5th.
Race 3 was a two race format I was extremely proud of Bike Manawatu and all our other local cyclists. There was a lot of green on the podium, and other local riders on other teams were also on the podium – and this is absolutely fantastic for our club.
In Category 4 Jack Overwheel was 1st and Lochie Foote was 3rd in the crit and we went 1,2,3 in the first sprint with Jack, Lochie and Brady Kennett. Lochie also took 2nd in the 2nd sprint. The team also won the the Team Time Trial which is a massive effort. .Mike Thompson riding for Luxury Cycle Tours is still wearing the Leaders Jersey for this category.
In Category 3, Dale Nicholls was 3rd in the crit and kept the Leaders Jersey and former club member Eric D’Arbois was 4rd, while Riley Tunnicliffe was 2nd in the 1st sprint and 3rd in the 2nd sprint. This team also wad 2nd in the team time trial
In Category 2, Max Fergusson was 2nd and Jeremy Rowe riding for the WCNI team took 3rd in the first sprint. WCNI won the Team Time Trial just edging Bike Manawatu by 2 seconds
Bike Manawatu has no team in Category 1, but there are club members riding in this category and Madi Hartley-Brown was 1st and Adam Martin was 3rd. Madi also took 2nd in the 2nd sprint, and their team won the Team Time Trial.
Points are still to be finalised but in Cat 2 WCNI and BM are tied for the lead. It would appear that BM are also leading Cat 3 and 4
It was a proud moment to see all that green on the podium, and to see other club members riding for other teams also on the podium. Many thanks to all the teams and their managers for assembling the riders to represent the club. As a club we are very proud of everyone.
Here’s to seeing club racing continuing to gain momentum at bike Manawatu and a big congratulations to all members racing in this series.