The Trust House North Island Team Series has been created by Jorge Sandoval and consists of 5 races in the Wairarapa Region.
This series is an ideal stepping stone for the youth of not only Manawatu but also the rest of New Zealand to step up to racing longer distances and against a high calibre of elite riders.
This series is providing learning experiences such as racing with a car convoy, learning how to go back and collect bottles and learning the dynamics of team racing.
Race two saw the addition of Sam Horgan and former Palmerston North local who is currently racing for Australian NRS team Budget Forklifts Having someone like Sam on the team is huge. He provides the opportunity for the boys to gain on the road race knowledge and learn from the experience of Sam.
Tactics for the day were to race as a team and ensure that we were represented in each move by at least one if not two Bike Manawatu riders. The racing started off aggressively and the team did a good job of being active at the front of the race.
After 50km a move finally went that stuck. The 13 man breakaway had all the main team represented including Horgan from our team. The break soon moved out to a 6min lead very quickly as only 1 team missed the move and were forced to ride the front of the peleton. This gave the boys the opportunity to see how a race unfolds once a break with all the teams represented has gone away. Also gave the opportunity for guys to go back to the team car to get bottles for the rest of the team members.
Up front the breakaway started to race aggressively with plenty of attacks to whittle down the breakaway to a select group. Eventually some paid the price for this and the breakaway soon only consisted of 6 riders including Horgan and local boy Luke Mudgeway. This group rolled well together until 5km to go when Horgan was the 1st to take a ‘flyer’ but was soon reeled in by Fraser Gough who was clearly trying to make it a bunch sprint for teammate Mudgeway. Constant attacking occurred until finally Regan Gough was allowed to escape under the 1km banner and managed to stay away to take the win from a fast finishing Mudgeway and Gordy McCauley rounding out the podium. Horgan came in 4th.
The bunch came in 4minutes latter and the guys back in the bunch rode good position at the front to protect sprinter Joel Yates who sprinted well to round out the top 10 in 10th place.
The beauty of this series is that with the regular racing the boys can learn from each race and then go and implement the increased race knowledge into the next race.
Thanks to Lee Yates for driving the team car and for Steve Stannard, Sam Horgan and Chris Sanson for their guidance within the race.