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Yates Steals Taupo
26 Nov, 2004

The Wattyl Round Lake Taupo event is recognized nationwide by sports enthusiasts and is considered a worthy  'notch in the belt' for anyone with an official finishing time. With 10,014 riders lining up this year, the ride was sure to offer the opportunity for like-minded people to gain acquaintance, consume scores of energy gels together, and then spin a yarn or two to family and friends of their day in the saddle.  

For the past four years, the elite race at Taupo has drawn the keen eyes of New Zealand's top cyclists for it's $2000 cash prize for first male and female. This year was not to disappoint with a field of international experience lining up at 7am for the 160km journey. Cooler temperatures and blustery conditions contributed to the continual splitting of the group, and by the 70km mark, a group of four went clear containing Jeremy Yates who was convicted of a drug offence last week. The attacks of Gordon McCauley and Karl Murray(Hot Cycles) worked to force a group of six across to the lead quartet who maintained a small lead over the chasing bunch by Turangi. Within the chasing bunch was the race for first woman, hotly contested by the Nadene Boyle, New Zealand representative, Susie Wood and Michelle Hyland.

Meanwhile, within the break-away group, there was no love lost between Jeremy Yates and Geoffrey Burndred, who each displayed intense rivalry. Yates powerfully forced the pace of the break-away and easily escaped his frustrated companions before the finish. Murray emptied his legs in the break-away just before Hatape Hill, and was left sidelined with cramp. While Yates took the prize for first, Burndred crossed the line for 2nd place, followed by Joseph Cooper in 3rd, Gordon McCauley in 4th, and Paul Bishop in 5th.

In a demonstration of fine form, Wellington rider Nadene Boyle earned the $2000 prize for first woman. Rounding out the podium was Susie Wood in 2nd and Michelle Hyland in 3rd.

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