The sun may have been out at the start of the meet but the shadow of the trees soon took it away to present a cold night with a stiff breeze. The racing tonight was of a high standard with the last race of the night being one of the best ever seen at the track. The night was punctuated with a number of stella performances with Michaela Drummond’s dominant display in the B grade points race to Samara Fenn’s strength in the under 15’s, the fight and determination from Hamish Mikkelsen to win the A grade 4 lap handicap, the race craft of Brent Zimmerman to win the B grade 12 lap handicap and Joel Yates aggression to make an impact on a race. Toshi Yaumachi is improving each week, his contribution to the B grade races this week indicate he will be one to watch as the season develops.
The highest highlight of the night was the final race, a 14 lap handicap race for the 9 A grade riders present. The Handicapper split the field into 4 scratch riders and the remaining 5 riders to start half a lap up. A bold strategy given that any one of the group of 5 would not have been out of place in the scratch bunch. All riders are or have been PNBHS Cycling Team riders and are well versed in riding team time trials. Given the two groups and their size the bunches rode as time trial teams and displayed true quality in their technique, this insured that maximum potential will be laid on the track. The first 3 laps saw the gap increase if anything as both teams built into their work. Lap 5 saw cracks appear and a visible reduction in gap begin, as one would expect from a well trained team the chatter began, to encourage the rider that may have self doubt, to dig a little deeper for the sake of the collective endeavour.
At the half way point Campbell Stewart of the scratch bunch ran out of patience and surged to maximum speed to close the gap, this caused his group of 4 to splinter. Given the form Campbell is in he was right to have the belief that he could go solo to bridge the gap, but the limit 5 were as strong as ever, a rider may have struggled to stay with the bunch one minute but was surging on the front of the bunch the next. As the lap board continued to count down the laps Campbell realised his tanks were showing empty, fortunately Chris Denholm of the scratch bunch had not given in and was still chasing down Campbell and the limit men. With 3 laps to go Chris rejoined Campbell and they worked together to close the gap. All the while the limit bunch continued their fine team work and were not going to lay down. The limit bunch leaders James Denholm and Joel Yates ensured a good pace and slick rotations. The lap board had 2 laps to go and the limit bunch cracked Campbell a feat that not many riders can claim, leaving Chris to solo the last 2 laps, with the gap still 100 metres Chris could well have thrown in the towel but unbelievably he fought harder and did close the gap but not enough to reach the bunch.
The limit bunch were intact leading into the final lap as they finally had the luxury to contemplate victory for themselves. The pace built again, as they rolled around the final bend to the finish line James, Joel and Fergus Allen were to contest the sprint for the line. Joel had the sprinters lane with James on the outside and Fergus splitting the two. With half of the straight to go Joel’s workload hit home and he was not able to find the cadence to continue the fight, Fergus showed his sprint ability to hold out James’s threat from the outside lane to hit the line first by a wheel length.
A fantastic contest played out by a group of talented young athletes, it is no wonder that the Manawatu continues to produce World class cyclists.
The next track cycling meeting is Tuesday 26th of November with racing to begin 6.10pm.
Results for Tuesday 19th November:
Under 15 5 Lap Points race:1 Samara Fenn (10 points), 2 Kaylee Kibblewhite (6 points), 3 Max Cousins (4 points), 4 Anna Stewart (2 points)
B Grade 7 Lap Points race: 1 Michaela Drummond (15 points), 2 Brent Zimmerman (6 points), 3 Toshi Yaumachi (3 points), 4 Ruby Perry (3 points)
A Grade 8 Lap Points race: 1 Campbell Stewart (13 points), 2 Carne Groube (8 points), 3 Jaycob Humphreys (5 points), 4 Chris Denholm (4 points)
400 metre Standing start time trial:
Timming with one watch only so times are unofficial
Campbell Stewart 31.44, Carne Groube 31.68, Fergus Allen 31.71, Jaycob Humphreys 31.83, Liam Brown 32.02, Brent Zimmerman 32.24, Joel Yates 32.31, Chris Denholm 32.58, James Denholm 33.05, Jake van Lienen 33.13, Michalea Drummond 33.26, Hamish Mikkelsen 33.82, Ruby Perry 35.12, Greg Bryan 35.14, Fergus Bryan 35.16, Steve Perry 35.89, Libby Arbuckle 36.13, Toshi Yaumachi 36.62, Frazer Allen 37.51, Stu McKenzie 38.57, Kaylee Kibblewhite 38.84, Megan Gardner 38.99, Samara Fenn 39.34, Anna Stewart 40.00, Warren Scott 40.05,Max Cousins 44.58
Under 15 3 Lap Handicap race: 1 Samara Fenn, 2 Kaylee Kibblewhite, 3 Max Cousins, 4 Anna Stewart
B Grade 4 lap Handicap race: 1 Michaela Drummond, 2 Frazer Allen, 3 Greg Bryan, 4 Liam Brown
A Grade 4 lap Handicap race: 1 Hamish Mikkelsen, 2 Joel Yates, 3 James Denholm, 4 Chris Denholm
Under 15 6 Lap Handicap race: 1 Samara Fenn, 2 Kaylee Kibblewhite, 3 Max Cousins
B Grade 12 lap Handicap race: 1 Brent Zimmerman, 2 Michaela Drummond, 3 Toshi Yaumachi, 4 Ruby Perry
A Grade 14 lap Handicap race: 1 Fergus Allen, 2 James Denholm, 3 Joel Yates,4 Jake van Lienen