Race report: Graded Handicap Saturday 5th March
The second of the Autumn race series was held on the Ashhurst-Highland Home (out and back) course last Saturday.
A total of 22 rides started the race, with the small A grade scratch group of Alex West and Steve Stannard leaving 19 minutes behind the limit (D Grade) group of Kyra Craine, Rosie O’Brien, and Jess Anniss,. C Grade was the second group to go at 7 min, then a large and strong B grade group at 14 min behind limit.
Conditions were good, but the hills took their toll on the lower grades, with many in C and D grades being caught before the turnaround on the 45 km course. The last rider to be caught by the fast finishing A-graders was Mervin Clark, who rode an strong race, mainly solo, being passed just before the turn back onto Pohangina Valley Rd.
Steve Stannard was first home and with the fastest time, just ahead of Alex West. Ethan Craine won the small bunch sprint for third, followed closely by Nigel Doyle and Chris Pinkney. Impressive rides from the girls in D grade to finish, and Ewan Cousins to be the first C grader home.
Thanks to race manager Mike Craine, Michael Groube for traffic management, and all the others who volunteered to help on the day.