Race three of this year’s Trust House North Island Series on Saturday around the Carrington circuit in Wairarapa proved to be more demanding than riders expected.
The race started from the outskirts of Masterton in Norfolk Road in a clear day but after one hour of racing, strong winds made it difficult for many riders in the race with many of them being left behind and eventually pulling out of the race.
Riders in the men’s elite race set out a fast pace from the start to almost 60km per hour, pushed with a cross side south westerly wind. Attempts were made from various riders wanting to escape the peloton early before reaching the circuit but the top teams in the race had every move covered.
It was clear certain teams had agendas for the day; Bike Manawatu, Jeremy Vennel team and Ramblers team started very aggressive trying to make early breaks but River Racing team controlled almost every move trying to protect their leader, Dan Waluszewski.
Directly after the first climb, it was professional rider Sam Horgan riding for Bike Manawatu who managed to get away from the main bunch. After 52 km of racing he was a minute in front of the bunch and one lap later still on his own he was looking strong on the hill climb despite the blustery conditions.
With 20km to go young Manawatu rider Joel Yates manage to break away from the main bunch and join Sam Horgan, they quickly increased their lead to almost two in front of a chasing group of seven riders.
Yates and Horgan finished first and second with Dan Waluszewski making lots of ground over the final lap coming in third place, 45 seconds behind the race winner but secure enough points to take the lead into the fourth race in two weeks.
Team Bike Manawatu also took the lead in the team’s competition.
In the masters division Mark Donald from capital Cycles won the race in a mass sprint finish involving 47 riders. Series leader Stephen Sheldrake from Team East Coast Velo still the leader of the 34-44 group with team mate Craig Hoskin leading the 45-49 grade comfortably as well as Wellington David Meo, leader of the 50 plus age group.
Team East Coast Velo also probed again to be the strongest team in the master division, increasing their lead in the team’s competitions.
Wairarapa riders Ben Knight and Kevin Laskey from Tararua Builders Racing manage to hold their positions with 11th and 12th place on the 34-44 masters age group while Lawrence Kent from the Trust House team improved from 16th to 9th place.
Next race on Saturday 15th November will be the “Queen” race of the series with riders facing up the first major hill of the series.
Riders will race from Gladstone and only after 6 kilometres of racing, they will face the tough Te Wharau hill, this hill has proven to be a nightmare for many international riders in the past UCI races over the same circuit.
From there they face Limeworks hill on their way to complete another lap of the Gladstone circuit.
“Race four up these hills will be crucial for any rider wanting to take the lead in the series. This hill has been a stumbling block for many international riders in the past, this time won’t be different because is the same long, step and nasty hill” said Race Director Jorge Sandoval.