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Manawatu riders dominate

Jackson Fellows won category three in the tightest of competitions. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

CYCLING

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Manawatu teams and riders continued their dominance of the Trust House North Island Team Series in the final race on the Whangaehu Valley-Bideford course on Sunday.

The six Manawatu teams won seven races over the five-race series for four, continuously had riders in the top 10 places, and won three individual titles, one teams’ title, as well as placing second and third in the other team’s categories.

Race director Jorge Sandoval praised Bike Manawatu for promoting their talented young cyclists to race with the older and more experienced riders on the road.

“This is a massive message to clubs and riders from other regions, that Bike Manawatu allow their older and younger riders to compete in serious, well run team races out of their environment so they can learn and participate. I believe they did better than expected, and congratulations to the riders and the club,” Sandoval said.

The tightest competitions going into the final race were in categories three and four where few points separated the leading contenders.

Category four series leader Darren Murdie [Bike Manawatu Palmfeild Motors] held a three-point lead over Chris Sharrott [Kapiti Cycling], with Mike Thompson [Storage Manawatu] a further three points behind.

Tararua Builders Andrew Curtis Cody leads teammate Paul Wallace on the way to Bideford.

Riders set a fast pace from the start, and 32km into the race, Patrick Johnstone [Bike Manawatu Palmfeild Motors] and Rhys Evans [Kapiti Cycling] attacked the field and gained a lead of over a minute heading into the hills.

However, Johnstone was the stronger on the day, dropping Evans and riding alone up the two major hill climbs to win the race by 42 seconds from Evans with the main bunch lead by Tararua Builders Peter James almost two minutes behind.

Murdie finished seventh to claim the individual title, with Kapiti Cycling winning the teams championship.

The highly talented Jackson Fellows from the Manawatu-based Madison Cycle Clothing team again showed his class against more experienced mature riders in category three, winning the final race by two seconds from Wellington’s Rob Kilvington and taking the title.

Fellows and teammate Dave Jackson went into the deciding race locked on 83 points. The pair, along with Kilvington, initiated the telling break halfway through the race, with Fellows beating Kilvington in the sprint for the line with Jackson in third place a few seconds behind.

Fellows finished on 108 points, five ahead of Jackson, with Kelvington third. The Pedal Project team took team honours from Madison Clothing.

Manawatu-Whanganui West Coast North Island [WCNI] team and their individual series winner Caleb Bottcher dominated category two.

In a tight tactical race on Sunday, 26 riders bunched for a massive sprint to the line after 84km, with Meo GP’s Antony Nalder winning the race from Wilson Hannon [Bike Manawatu].

Riders in category one participated in only the first three races. The category was won by George Jackson, who is from Cambridge, and Wheelworks won the teams’ title.

Sandoval was rapt to complete the series under the covid-19 restrictions, with more than 215 riders, mostly from outside Wairarapa, competing in the series.

SERIES WINNERS

Category One: 1 George Jackson [NZ Cycling Project], 2 Callum Nisbet [Coupland’s-Booth’s Group], 3 Jack Polley [Wheelworks].
Teams – Wheelworks.

Category Two: 1 Caleb Bottcher [West Coast North Island], 2 Antony Nalder [Meo GP], 3 Steve Bale [Fitlab].
Teams – West Coast North Island.

Category Three: 1 Jackson Fellows [Madison Cycle Clothing NZ], David Jackson [Madison Cycle Clothing NZ], 3 Rob Kilvington [Capital Cycles-Best Build-Fast House].
Teams – Pedal Project.

Category four: 1 Darren Murdie [Bike Manawatu Palmfeild Motors], 2 Chris Sharrott [Kapiti Cycling Club], 3 Mike Thompson [Storage Manawatu].
Teams – Kapiti Cycling Club.

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