Race Report (from Carl Williams)
It was a stunning Hawkes Bay afternoon as the team set up for the Prologue of this year’s Hub Tour. I can’t imagine there are many places in the world where the sign on, race start and finish are situated on the front door of one of the countries top wineries. Ngatarawa Wines was the location and the course was a brutally fast out and back 6km Time Trial
By the time we arrived to warm up the lower grades and younger age groups were already on course smashing out their race efforts. The grimace on their face a preview of what was to come for our boys.
The team this weekend is represented in two forms. Firstly by the senior Pro riders of the international squad who have just come off a huge weekend of racing in Christchurch at this years Elite Nationals and are here as a training block to cram those precious race km’s in before the giant season ahead.
Secondly is the junior development team who are largely on debut for 2011. A team of 4 U19 riders and 1 U23 make up the team. The objective…. Learn to race as a Pure Black Racing team following the example set by the senior riders at previous events.
For todays TT it was pretty simple. Ride as fast as you can for 3km, turn around a cone in the middle of the road and then ride as hard as you can for another 2.8km, a sharp left turn into the vineyard driveway (avoid the cars and people) followed by a sprint to the line.
So with not much else to it the boys set about preparing. Good time trialling starts and finishes with a state of mind just as strong as the legs pounding you down the road, so for these juniors it was a good opportunity to not be playing mental games with their opponents as you do in a road race but themselves, pumping up for the all out effort.
Dion Smith (Smithy) was first away riding on his road bike Eddy Merckx style followed by James Oram, James Northey (Rudolf), Fraser Gough and lastly Scott Creighton.
Fraser was the only Jnr to ride with a full TT setup and in turn was our top Jnr finishing in 5th closely behind the “big dogs” of the event and fellow teammates. So all in all a solid effort from the youngster! Smithy, Scott and James all posted solid times and are placed well for tomorrow. This was James first hit out after his new years break, which involved a trip to Gisborne and R&V!
Tomorrow the games really begin with a brutal circuit style course with its 3 laps making a total of 99km. Its sure to be a tough day with some very aggressive riding promised by all top contenders, following that it’s a quick recovery before the stage 2 Criterium in the afternoon.
So – all in all a great day. I’m looking forward to seeing how these young guys step up as a team to the very strong individual competition they face.
- Jeremy Vennell
- 2. Tim Gudsell – Pure Black Racing (Pro)
- 3. Shem Rodger – Pure Black Racing (Pro)
- Alex McGregor
- Fraser Gough – Pure Black Racing (U19)
- Hayden McCormick
- Andy Hagan
- 8. Scott Lyttle – Pure Black Racing (Pro)
- Elliot Obrien
- Patrick Bevin
13. James Oram – Pure Black Racing (U19)
14. Scott Creighton – Pure Black Racing (U19)
15. Mark Langlands – Pure Black Racing (Pro)
20. Dion Smith – Pure Black Racing (U19)
27. James Northey – Pure Black Racing (U23)