With a number of riders taking well-earned breaks following the National Championships the previous weekend, the field was smaller than expected for a handicap race on the Halcombe/Stanway circuit last Saturday. Nevertheless, with some good handicapping and some quality riders made for a very competitive race.
The limit riders on the 41 km course (first to go) were Sam Russell, Katherine Stannard, Ben Irvine, Zoe Croton, Jamie Dennis (‘limit’ group). Tom Pirie was next, on his own 4 min later, then a small but strong group of Mike Craine, Chris Pinkney, and Toshi were at 12 min. Angus Claasen and Ethan Craine were given the hardest task, off ‘block’ with Joel Yates, Steve Stannard and James Denholm on scratch (20 min) only 6 min behind. All the groups worked hard, and the race all came together on the last hill on Tokorangi Rd before the descent into Halcombe.
In the end, Joel was just too strong for the rest of the bunch finishing just ahead of Angus in 62 min (average 39 km/h). James was third across the line just a few seconds behind. Three of the younger riders did one lap, with Kyra Craine first home in 69 min, Josh Mulchay 2nd, and Alex Croton 3rd.