Tour of Taranaki – Queens Birthday Weekend
The three day tour started off with the age groups and grades taking off around a circuit that challenged a lot of rider’s bike skills, with the strong winds and unexpected gusts. The wind picked up in the afternoon and the conditions were described as ‘a storm’ at times. So the afternoon’s individual time trial was cancelled by the organisers for the rider’s safety. After a rest up in the afternoon the riders returned the next day in the pouring rain for a long hard 70km stage. But that was not all for that day, the ‘keen’ riders changed and dried out their gear before returning that afternoon for a 50km stage that was a real test of the riders endurance. With one stage to go Bike Manawatu had many riders relying on the last stage to determine their General Classification time or sprint ace and King of Mountain points. The last stage was a 27km circuit with one Hill climb and a Sprint ace on each lap. Under 17 girls and D grade did two laps whilst under 17 boys, A, B, and C grades completed three laps.
After this last stage Bike Manawatu ended up with some great results. Our riders representing us in Canberra in July raced for their teams and did them proud. Angus Findlay and Miguel Dib were racing in A grade they both were up with the top riders, with Angus getting an amazing 4th placing in the last stage and 10th overall and Miguel got a very impressive 2nd place on the 50km, 3rd stage. Mark Findlay, in the under 17 boys, preformed very well over the weekend with a stage win and 5th placing overall. Kate Stewart in the under 17 girls grade got 3rd overall on sprint ace and Rachel Southee sadly had a bad fall, but is on her way to a speedy recovery before she heads to Canberra. In the B grade Jacob Humphries had the King of Mountain jersey from stage two but lost it on the last stage. Also in B grade a stand out performance was Luuk van Wagtendonk where he came 3rd overall, 2nd in two stages and had one stage in the yellow jersey! One of the most surprising performances of the weekend was John Stewart in D grade. He got a 1st placing in one stage and 2nd in all three other stages. These results and doing well in a few sprint aces meant that he bought home the yellow jersey and the sprint leaders jersey.
All up the Taranaki tour was a very well organised tour that was a lot of fun whether the weather be good or bad, and all our Bike Manawatu representatives did the club proud!