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North Island series: Local riders victorious

Tararua Builders’ Pete James takes line honours in category four. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED


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Teamwork and local knowledge paid off for Tararua Builders as they took the major spoils in the final race of the Trust House North Island Team on Sunday.

The Wairarapa-based team went into the last of the five-race series with a handy lead in the teams’ classification, and they built on that, with Pete James first across the line in a close sprint finish.

Tararua Builders worked well as a team over the 85km course from Masterton to the bottom of Dreyer’s Rock and return via Bideford, setting the pace for most of the race, which was held in steady rain and gusty winds.

The team applied the pressure on the Bideford hill climbs, ensuring all their riders stayed together to push for individual line honours.

A break of six riders went away in the last 10 kilometres including three Tararua Builder riders – race winner James, Duncan Cameron, and Dave Drummond, as well as category leader Mike Thompson and Luxury Cycle Tours teammate Mike Dunne, and Aucklander Matt Lee, riding for Serco-RNZN Spin Riders.

A good lead out from Cameron ensured James would take the victory with Cameron second and Dunne third.

Tararua Builders won the category four championship.

Tararua Builders took the teams’ title, with five of their riders in the top 10 in the individual standings.

James was second behind winner Thompson in the individual standings, Cameron was third, Emily Lutyens was the leading woman in fifth-equal, while Andrew Osmond and Warwick Burr were ninth and 10th, respectively.

Race director Jorge Sandoval was thrilled with the outcome for the local team.

“I have seen them training really hard over the last two to three months for this series,” he said.

“The hard work paid off for them, and they were really happy after the race.”

Wairarapa’s Mark Langlands capped off a good series in category one, finishing third in Sunday’s race behind winner and Coupland’s Bakeries-Booth’s Group teammate Glenn Haden, and Joel McMillan [NZ
Cycling Project].

Langlands was third in the individual competition, which was taken out by teammate Madi Hartley-Brown.

Coupland’s easily won the teams’ championship.

Category two was dominated by Bike Manawatu, who won the individual and teams’ competition. Max Fergusson won the series with teammate Michael Richmond in second place and Wellington’s Antony Nalder from MEO GP in third place.

Bike Manawatu also took the individual and teams honours in category three.

Dale Nichols from Palmerston North won the individual title from Cameron Woods [Wheelworks], and Rob Kilvington from Capital Cycles in third place.

Tararua Builders’ Dominic Green was fifth in the series, while teammate Eric D’arbois was eighth and Richard van Lent ninth. The team were third in the teams’ classification.

Sandoval changed the focus of the series from age group races to categories based on ability and introduced some new courses in the Alfredton, Rangitumau, and Bideford. He said the modifications were well received.

“We had 228 riders take part over the five races, most of them coming from outside Wairarapa, and all riders endorsed the new circuits.”

“I will work hard to keep the series based here in Wairarapa with a better, bigger event in 2021.”

“Once again with the support of Trust House we managed to stage another great series and place the Wairarapa region as a true road cycling destination,” Sandoval said.

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