If we had left it to the weatherman we would have stayed at home as the forecast had predicted rain and dangerous winds. Fortunately 29 independent thinking track cyclists plus support people made the decision to make the trip to Johnston Park and were not disappointed as we all enjoyed great conditions for the opening meeting of the 2012-13 track cycling season.
Twelve of the 29 riders present were new to track cycling. The programme made allowances for this by having shorter races with a maximum of 5 riders per race followed by individual 1 lap time trials then 4 lap races and finished off with longer handicap races.
The highlight of the day was the depth of talent from the returning riders and the potential within the 12 rookies. The stand out one lap performance was from first year under 17 girl Michaela Drummond posting a time of 33.88 seconds unofficially beating the existing track record time of 34.44 seconds. The best race of the day was the under 17 8 lap handicap race. The 4 limit markers of Joel Yates, Hayden Washington-Smith, Hamish Mikkelsen and Simone Davie had a lead of 260 metres over the scratch riders.
As the scratch riders worked to bridge the gap and collect the riders that had started ahead of them the limit riders worked well together by sharing the efforts at the front of their bunch. The scratch riders were making good progress on all but the limit bunch. With 2 laps to go Simone was not able to stay with the group but stuck to her task and was able to keep clear of the fast approaching scratch bunch. At the bell it was clear that the three remaining riders of the limit bunch were not going to be caught and the winner of the race would come from their group. As they made their way to the finish line they began to take positions to fight for the line.
Into the final straight Hamish had the lead and with encouragement from the crowd he was well into his final push for the line but Hayden and Joel were not gifting anything to anybody and launched their attack in the centre of the track. Both in sprinters crouched positions and elbows out they unloaded all they had into that final effort to the line. Halfway down the straight and Hamish still had a lead of a bike length from Joel and another bike length to Hayden. The volume of the crowd hit another level and the line judge confirmed his position. At the last 10 metres Joel hit the front and was able to hold on from a fast finishing Hayden and a gallant Hamish who was searching for energy he spent moments earlier. The message from this race was to treasure any handicap that you are awarded and your best chance of being at the front at the finish is to work together as a group to stay clear of the scratch riders.
The Sunday racing proved its worth as the meeting was able to begin at 3pm and took all of 3 hours to complete, daylight was in good supply. With it being a holiday weekend and the weather forecast predicting impossible conditions a number of riders did not make it to this opening meeting and so our numbers can only swell. With the talent on display and the talent to come we are in for another stellar season with current and future national title holders and representatives.
Results for Sunday 21st October:
Under 17 A grade 4 Lap Scratch race:1 Carne Groube, 2 Michaela Drummond, 3 Jake van Lienen, 4 Josh Kendall
Under 17 B grade 4 Lap Scratch race: 1 Jacob Sievwright, 2 Fergus Allen, 3 Joel Yates, 4 Hamish Mikkelsen
Under 19 and Senior Men 4 Lap scratch race: 1 Matiu Kaihau, 2 Jaycob Humphreys, 3 Kyle Davie, 4 Luuk van Wagtendonk
Under 15 3 Lap Scratch race: 1 Libby Arbuckle, 2 Megan Gardner, 3 Flyn Yates, 4 Daniel Kendall
Masters and Senior Women 4 Lap scratch race: 1 Teagan Roffe, 2 Margaret Leyland, 3 Sheralee Cleland, 4 Pania Hudson
Masters Men 3 Lap scratch race: 1 Brent Zimmerman, 2 Megan Blatchford, 3 Barry Gilliland, 4 Toshi Yamauchi
1 Lap Time Trial
Matiu Kaihau 32.45, Jaycob Humphreys 32.75, Brent Zimmerman 33.36, Kyle Davie 33.50, Josh Kendall 33.63, Michaela Drummond 33.88, Carne Groube 34.23, Jake van Lienen 34.41, Andrew McKenzie 34.51, Fergus Allen 35.26, Joel Yates 35.67, Jacob Sievwright 35.94, Luuk van Wagtendonk 37.60, Kate Stewart 36.96, Sheralee Cleland 41.02, Pania Hudson 41.16, Megan Blatchford 35.73, Simone Davie 37.21, Hayden Washington Smith 36.04, Daniel Kendall 40.53, Flyn Yates 41.31, Hamish Mikkelsen 36.86, Megan Gardner 40.55, Teagan Roffe 39.45, Libby Arbuckle 36.73, Barry Gilliland 38.20, Margaret Leyland 39.81, Toshi Yamauchi 39.86, Lyall Goggin 42.33.
Under 15 4 laps race on whistle: 1 Libby Arbuckle, 2 Megan Gardner, 3 Flyn Yates, 4 Daniel Kendall
Under 17 A grade 5Laps race on the whistle: 1 Josh Kendall, 2 Michaela Drummond, 3 Carne Groube, 4 Jake van Lienen
Under 17 B grade 5 Laps race on the whistle: 1 Jacob Sievwright, 2 Hamish Mikkelsen, 3 Fergus Allen, 4 Hayden Washington Smith
Under 19 and Senior Men Points race: 1 Matiu Kaihau 10 points, 2 Jaycob Humphreys 6 points, 3 Kyle Davie 4 points, 4 Kate Stewart 2 points
Senior and Masters Women 4 Laps race on whistle: 1 Teagan Roffe, 2 Margaret Leyland, 3 Sheralee Cleland, 4 Pania Hudson
Under 15 4 Lap Handicap: 1 Flyn Yates, 2 Megan Gardner, 3 Daniel Kendall, 4 Libby Arbuckle.
Under 17 7 Lap Handicap: 1 Joel Yates, 2 Hayden Washington Smith, 3 Hamish Mikkelsen, 4 Simone Davie
Masters Men 6 Lap Handicap: 1 Barry Gilliland, 2 Toshi Yamauchi, 3 Lyall Goggin, 4 Megan Blatchford
Masters Women 6 Lap Handicap: 1 Margaret Leyland, 2 Sheralee Cleland, 3 Pania Hudson
Open 10 Lap Handicap:1 Matiu Kaihau, 2 Jaycob Humphreys, 3 Kyle Davie, 4 Megan Blatchford
Photos thanks to Kirsty Kaihau