Close racing highlighted a fiercely contested day of racing in race three of the Trust House North Island Team Series held north of Masterton on Sunday.
The three categories followed similar patterns on the challenging hilly course with the riders bunched together at the start of the final climb up Rangitūmau, but it was a completely different story 3km later with big gaps in the fields.
Riders in category two covered a distance of 114km and the group was together until the bottom of the hill, when Wellington cyclist Jack Polley, riding for the Wheelworks team, pulled away to cross the line ahead of Jack Padega and Chris Hansen, both from WCNI team in second and third place. Hansen retained the category lead, while WCNI solidified their spot at the top of the team’s classification.
In category three, the riders pushed a very fast pace all the way to Hastwell with a few trying to break away but never succeeding. Twenty-six riders were together at the bottom of the hill and then riders from Pedal Project, Kapiti Cycling Club and Bike Manawatu teams took control. Only a few seconds separated them with 1km to go, but in the end, only nine seconds separated the first three riders with Bertie McGuigan [Bike Manawatu] taking line honours, followed by category leader Jeremy Salmon [Pedal Project] and Andy Richardson from Bike Manawatu in third place.
Pedal Project dominated category four taking the first two placings. As in category three, a few riders tried to break away but didn’t succeed, and after 60km a few riders were dropped from the main bunch. Twenty-two riders were bunched together at the start of the final climb, but the hill climbers came to the front in the last 2kms with Richard Gibson and Andrew Campbell coming first and second, separated by one second, from Bike Manawatu’s Patrick Johnstone in third, three seconds behind, and local rider Dave Drumond from Tararua Builders team in fourth place.
Brief results for race three – Trust House Teams Series.
Category Two: 1 – Jack Polley [Wheelworks] 2:17:24, 2 – Jack Padega [WCNI], Chris Hansen [WCNI]
Category Leader – Hansen; Team Leader – West Coast North island
Category Three: 1 – Bertie McGuigan [Bike Manawatu] 1:37:27, 2 – Jeremy Salmond [Pedal Project], 3 – Andy Richardson [Bike Manawatu].
Category Leader – Salmond; Team Leader – Pedal Project
Category Four: 1 – Richard Gibson [Pedal Project] 1:42:24, 2 – Andrew Campbell [Pedal Project], 3 – Patrick Johnstone [Bike Manawatu]
Category Leader – Campbell; Team Leader – Team Tank Guy