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Jackson triumphs on brutal course

The bunch tackles the tough Tiraumea Hill during race two of the Trust House Team Series. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED


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Class won through in the second race of the Trust House North Island Team Series with New Zealand scratch national champion George Jackson taking line honours at Alfredton on Sunday.

A strong field, including a late entry from Tokyo 2020 Olympian Nicholas Kergozou riding for the Coupland’s-Booth’s Group team, lined up in the tortuous category one 120km race from Alfredton to Pongaroa and Waione and back, which featured several brutal hill climbs.

The pace was set right from the start with several riders attacking the field in the first few hills, but in the end, it was Jackson [NZ Cycling Project], who broke away from a 12-man bunch heading into the final stages to win by almost five seconds from Karl Drury from Wellington, and Callum Nisbett [Coupland’s-Booth’s Group] in third place.

The category two 120km race was a different story, with the riders very aggressive right from the start.

Three riders – Christchurch’s Scott McDonnell [Fitlab], Cameron Jones [West Coast North Island Road Racking-WCNI], and Dylan Cummings [Bike Manawatu] broke away after 4km and worked well together, building a lead of over two minutes. After the turn at Waione Hall, the bunch reduced the gap to one minute, and with about 30km to the finish, on the longest hill climb at Tiraumea, the three were absorbed back into the bunch.

Halfway up the hill, Steve Bale [Fitlab] and Jamie Campbell [Green Performance] broke away leaving series leader Caleb Bottcher [WCNI] having to chase them on his own for over 25km.

Bale crossed the line first and took the category two leader’s jersey, from Campbell, with Bottcher third 90 seconds adrift.

Josh Burnett [NZ Cycling Project], in black, leads the breakaway in the category one race.
Manawatu’s Dave Jackson [Madison Cycle Clothing NZ] prevailed in the closest finish of the day to win the category three race, over 68km, from Andrew Richardson [Bike Manawatu] and series leader and teammate Jackson Fellows in third place.

A group of 16 broke away on the long hill climb at Tiraumea, and with 5km to the finish, Fellows put in a huge effort up the last climb to put a small gap on the breakaway, but the other riders chased and contained him to the finish.

Carl Dickason [Storage Manawatu] wrapped up a good day for Manawatu riders, winning a sprint finish in the category four race from Rhys Evans [Kapiti Cycling Club], James De Hair [Kapiti] in third.

The bunch tried to stay together on the way to Pongaroa but were split after 30km of a series of climbs.

A bunch of 22 riders rode most of the way back together until the last climb, when seven riders broke away to fight for the line.

Race three of the series will be held in Masterton on October 24, with riders tackling two very different courses – the first a criterium circuit in the morning and the second a team time trial in the afternoon.

Leading results

Category One: 1 George Jackson [NZ Cycling Project] 2hrs 57.57; 2 Karl Drury [Individual] at 4sec; 3 Callum Nisbet [Coupland’s-Booth’s Group] at same time. Leading Team: NZ Cycling Project

Category Two: 1 Steve Bale [Fitlab] 3:05.55; 2 Jamie Campbell [Green Performance] at 2sec; 3 Caleb Bottcher [WCNI] at 90sec. Leading Team: West Coast North Island.

Category Three: 1 David Jackson [Madison Cycle Clothing NZ] 1:56.03; 2 Andrew Richardson [Bike Manawatu] at same time; 3 Jackson Fellows [Madison Cycle Clothing NZ] at 1sec. Leading Team: Pedal Project.

Category Four: 1 Carl Dickason [Storage Manawatu] 2:00.21; 2 Rhys Evans [Kapiti Cycling Club] at same time; 3 James De Hair [Kapiti Cycling Club] same time. Leading Team: Kapiti Cycling Club.

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