Not sure whether it was the daunting prospect of Ngahere Park or whether everyone is just too busy at this time of year or the other possibility is that everyone is saving themselves for other events or recovering from events from last week.
Whatever the case on near perfect conditions a tough handful of riders showed up at the end of Tiritea Rd for the start of the hill climb champs.
Thanks to John Arbuckle who went and set the end flag in position and to Graeme Ransom who held riders on the start line.
An interesting fact for you before the results are presented. We used this same course a couple of years ago when the gorge was closed, which left using the Saddle Road not an option. At this point in time 29 October 2011 Thomas Stannard completed the course in 20 mins 16 secs. And looking at the results from that day he was the only rider to return. A few years growth and he has managed to chop his time right back to 16 mins 37 secs. I wonder if in another 3 years will he be able to chop off the same amount of time.
Some very close times resulted for the top 4 riders and it was unfortunate to say the least that Nev Weir dropped his chain. Otherwise he would have had a scorcher of a time.
Madi Hartley-Brown was the first to appear at the finish line making it look as if there was no effort required at all. His time was 12 mins 21 secs. Dylan Simpson completed the hill climb in 12 mins 39 secs. Fergus Washington Smith was the next of the junior riders to finish in a time of 14 mins 30 secs. Max Taylor’s time was 14 mins 35 secs and 14 mins 53 secs for Ethan Craine.
Matt Watts was the first of the senior riders to arrive in a time of 12 mins 11 secs. Gideon Burke had gone on a reconnaissance warm up ride and only just made it back to the start line seconds before his allocated start time. So with his Dad, all the way from the UK looking on, he produced a time of 12 mins 14 secs. And to show how close these men were Nevs time was 12 mins 15 secs.Barry Wilson completed the climb in 12 mins 47 secs and Nigel Doyle completed the climb in 13mins 13 secs Thirteen is not an unlucky number for him.
Libby Arbuckle was the first of the women home and will take away the womens cup with a time of 14 mins 43 secs – a great result considering the amount of extra weight in the form of bandages that she had to carry up the hill. The only other women competitor this year was Peita Ransom who finished in a time of 17 mins 31 secs.