Team Stannard/Bamford was far too strong when they walked away with first place by just over a minute and a half from their nearest rival (Team Stewart/Finlay) that contained three NZ age group representatives in the inaugural Bike Manawatu “Bone Collector” race held on the 31st of July in Ashhurst. On a stunning Manawatu day many riders relished the near perfect mid winter conditions to ride. The brainchild of Ian Gray and the events working group, six riders were required to make up a team with restrictions being placed on the age of riders and their start positions.
The first riders away covered over 100km doing three loops of the Pohangina Valley Road – Colyton – Ashhurst circuit while the last rider was only required to complete 11km. According to the Matthijs van Wagtendonk in his capacity as the chief commissaire, “the race turns itself into a classic team time trial once the third rider joins the team but you can only go as fast as your slowest member”. “It really was a novel and different event that catered for a range of riders and one that could grow into something special in years to come”, he added. Some other performances worthy of recognition came from the likes of Jessica Hamilton who rode off with a number of elite male riders. While she was unable to hang on to this elite group, she did display lots of courage and determination to complete all three laps at a relatively quick pace. Another to put in a very gutsy effort was U15 rider James Denholm who despite pushing himself well into the red zone for much of the ride and seeking every ounce of energy from already depleted reserves soldiered on to completed two laps of the circuit. Team Laskey also had a young female rider Becky Bleakley in their squad who was not intimidated by the fear of letting the team down nor was she afraid to ride one lap of the circuit as quickly as she could. What was pleasing to organisers was a number of new faces who turned up to give the Bone Collector event a go. “We really enjoyed ourselves”, said Debbie Perry. “We knew we weren’t going to win but it was a fun event and something very different”. For full results see below