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Race Report: Sutton Cup, Pahiatua, Saturday 31st July

The Sutton Cup has, over the past few years, been the first race of our handicap season. That being the case, it has been a sealed handicap, where everyone starts together, and the handicapper prior to the start makes a call on how much time should be added to the faster riders so that handicapped times are all similar. This year, however, we decided to run a graded handicap to ensure that a large bunch is not travelling down State Hwy 2.

So, five groups started the race, the scratch pair of Alex West and Robert Stannard having to make up twelve and a half minutes over the 44.6 km course. Barry Wilson lead the limit bunch which, although starting first, contained some quality riders such as Toshi, Chris Compton, Julie Miller, and Thomas Stannard.

The second bunch were mostly Wairarapa ring-ins except for BM rider Nigel Doyle, and they were given 4 minutes. The third bunch to go, seven minutes after limit, was the favoured bunch to win, as it contained most of the Boys High Junior TT team, with Neil Martin and the evergreen Stephen Snell.

Another two minutes later, Glen Kirk, Kevin Laskey, and Lyle Cummins made up a small ‘block’ (second last off) group; they had a two and a half minute advantage to Robert and Alex on scratch.

The favoured third group seemed to start off like it was a Sunday morning ride, and the second group with Glen Kirk pushing a 12 cog were caught not far out of town. The hills and the strong head wind in the second half of the course produced a very fractured race, but the strong veteran riders of Peter James and Devon Simmons held it together so that Devon (118.55 min.sec) beat Peter (119.12) to win the race just in front of Toshi (119.24). Maddi Hartley Brown rode strongly to claim 4th place (119.35) Alex West rode strongly to take 5th (119.55).

Thanks to those riders who turned up to support the racing and also to Kevin Laskey and friends who organized the course and did the traffic management.

Devon Simmons   118.55
Peter James         119.12
Toshi Yamauchi    119.24
Maddi Hartley-Brown 119.35
Alex West            119.55
Dylan Simpson     120.00
Glen Kirk             120.00
Chris Compton     120.01
Jeff Saywell         120.05
Kevin Laskey       120.19
Julie Miller           120.27
Robert Stannard  120.34
Max Taylor          120.59
Barry Wilson        142.30
Nigel Doyle          124.33
Lyle Cummins      125.38
Stephen Snell      132.06
Neil Martin           145.00
Thomas Stannard DNF