5th race of BioSport City Criterium Series, Auckland Viaduct, Thursday 4 March 2010.
Taylor Gunman (Bici Vida) was the eventual winner of the A Grade race in last night's penultimate bioSPORT City Criterium, outsprinting Subway-Avanti's Nick Lovegrove for the line. Champion duathlete Paul Amey finished third.
There were no foregone conclusions last night - and as a result more even racing - with some now-familiar faces missing from the startline, including Bici Vida's Mike Northey and Patrick Bevin, Subway-Avanti skipper Gordon McCauley and Placemakers' Karl Murray.
With the more even but still full field of 52 riders came a more exciting race with Amey sitting on or near the front for most of the race, determinedly and successfully breaking Bici Vida's rhythm, sometimes opening the door for others, other times leading breakaways and forcing the bunch to chase.
Gunman and Lovegrove should probably be sharing their prizes with Amey who led the three man breakaway going into the final lap and then kept daylight between them and the chasing bunch. Amey sat up in the finishing straight, leaving Gunman and Lovegrove to battle it out for the line.
Bici Vida's Alex Ray won three of the five sprint laps, with James Oram and Chris Macic claiming the rest.
Mike Northey and Patrick Bevin now in Singapore to race the OCBC sponsored Singapore Criterium before heading to Portland Oregon to join Lance Armstrong's Rubicon-Orbea pro team. http://www.landrover-orbea.com/welcome-to-201/
Gayle Brownlee, having secured a podium stage finish in last week's UCI-sanctioned Wellington Women's Tour, won last night's Elite Women's race, outsmarting and outsprinting Rosie McCall and Kate Chilcott. Brownlee's was a convincing win, with a bike length between her and McCall.
Coming into the final straight, Brownlee found herself behind McCall and Chilcott and being buffeted by a blustery headwind. Explaining her tactics after the race, Brownlee said "the other two had me coming into the turn, so I came up the inside, out of the wind and made my way through the bunch, gradually getting faster when it really mattered".
The B Grade men's race was won by Daniel Gate who in the sprint for the finish managed to get himself and his bike across the line ahead of Peter Knight, followed by Daniel Poole.
With 44 riders B Grade was a slightly smaller field than previous weeks but the racing was no less competitive with riders strung out along the track and no shortage of breakaway action, including some valiant efforts from Richard Carter who caused more than his fair share of pain on the faces of those in the chasing bunch.
Carter also won one of the three sprint laps with the others taken by Ryan Barron and Andrew Feringa.
C Grade was won by Dan Marson who managed to keep his nose ahead of Crispin Schuserth in the sprint finish with Nathan Tuck coming in third. Carlos Nicholls claimed both sprint laps.
With the series now nearly complete, the City Criteriums has shown itself to be a proving ground for some of New Zealand's best, and most promising up and coming cyclists. Says event organizer Greg Pain, "it's been great to see so many riders using these races as an opportunity to race against some of Auckland's - and New Zealand's - best riders. It's events like these that provide the competition experience that is an essential component of any racing training programme."
The final race is next Thursday 11 March, with racing starting at 6pm.
RESULTS, bioSPORT City Criterium Series, Race 5 (Thursday 4 March)
1. Taylor Gunman (Bici Vida)
2. Nick Lovegrove (Subway Avanti)
3. Paul Amey
1. Gayle Brownlee
2. Rosy McCall
3. Kate Chilcott
1. Daniel Gate
2. Peter Knight
3. Daniel Poole
1. Dan Marson
2. Crispin Schuserth
3. Nathan Tuck
Series Standings (after 5 of 6 races)
A Grade: 1. Mike Northey (55pts); 2. Alex Ray (33pts); 3. Patrick Bevin (32pts)
Elite Women: 1. Gayle Brownlee (28pts); 2. Kate Chilcott (18pts) 3= Rosie McCall & Kate Mullarkey (16pts)
B Grade: 1. Daniel Gate (23pts); 2. Jason Waterhouse (22pts); 3= Jeremy Turner & John Rippon (10pts)
C Grade: 1. Sam Brothers (25pts) 2. Dan Pavis (20pts); 3= Jamie Marr, Hugo Bloor, Dan Marson (10pts)
The final race of the series is next Thursday, 11 March at Auckland's Viaduct Harbour
Pete Bruggeman http://www.pbase.com/bruggersphotography
Mead Norton www.naturalstudios.co.nz
bioSPORT would like to thank our sponsors and supporters:
Air New Zealand, Allpress Espresso, Cibo Restaurant, cyclingnzshop.com, Grace Lang Optometry, Hammer Nutrition, Sanctuary Developments and the Six:30 bunch.
Series dates: Thursdays: 4th Feb, 11th Feb, 18th Feb, 25th Feb, 4th Mar
Grand final and prize giving: Thursday 11th Mar
Event Organiser: Greg Pain, bioSPORT
bioSPORT is a biomechanical training and physiotherapy studio in Auckland's CBD. bioSPORT specialises in injury prevention, performance enhancement and rehabilitation for cycling, running, multi sport, triathlon, swimming, golf and tennis.