PureBlack Racing secured all the podium spots in the Taupo to Napier race yesterday, the first race since the end of their US season six weeks ago, with Tim Gudsell winning in a sprint finish from team mate Mike Torckler and Dan Barry taking third.
PureBlack Racing took six of the top ten spots with Mike Northey in 4th place, Mark Langlands in 6th and Taylor Gunman in 7th place to complete a fantastic first day of racing for the team in the new New Zealand season.
As is often the case with this race a big break of 15 riders got away pretty early with six PureBlack Racing riders making the selection and quickly building up a lead of nearly two minutes. With around 70kms to go Mike Torckler, in his first race with the team since January, slipped off the front and got clear. He was joined about 15km later by Tim Gudsell who joined him after a big effort on the last big climb of the day. From there Torckler and Gudsell raced all the way to the finish with Gudsell securing the win in the final sprint.
“It was great to win at home again,” said Tim Gudsell. “Mike Torckler put in a huge ride coming back from a major knee injury and riding with us for the first time since before our US season. He had me working pretty hard all the way to the finish. The Subway guys were there in the break and they were giving it a pretty good push along as well.”
“The team’s return to racing this weekend is part of our build up to the Jayco Herald Sun Tour a UCI 2HC race in Melbourne next month,” said Carl Williams Sports Director of PureBlack Racing. “We now have a week-long training camp in the Hawkes Bay which we will finish off by taking part in the centennial race around Mount Egmont next weekend.”