A typical windy winter’s day last Saturday over at Pahiatua saw nearly 40 riders turn out for the Bike Manawatu/Central Hawkes Bay Interclub race. A sealed handicap meant that it was a mass start, and as usual, the right to left wind down the main road created carnage right from the word go.
A split quickly developed where about a dozen of the more experienced and stronger riders lapped out whilst the rest were left in a string down the road. A small group of three, including the form riders of Nate Levin, national champ Alex West, Robert Stannard, and Neil Martin then attacked off the front of that group to quickly create an 80m lead. Steve Stannard bridged just before the gap got too big, but paid for that effort on the first hill, where he was dropped going over the top. With Nate paying the price of some hard training, Robert, Neil and Alex pulled away.
In the end Robert was the strongest up the final climb to the finish, out sprinting Neil, with Alex just behind. Steve came in some 3 min behind the leaders. Hayden Washington Smith showed his class (and potential), by out powering Ross Rainham to be the first of the next finishing group on the final climb.
Some notable rides by Cameron Huston, next group, and Frazer Allen who apparently had most of the rest of the bunch swinging on his wheel for the last 15 km.
Thanks to Kevin Laskey (of Laskey Cycles) and the local constabulary for making the race and safe and successful event