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Mt Maunganui Criterium Results
28 Dec, 2003
Event: Mt Maunganui Criterium
Mt Maunganui Criterium 28 December 2003 The countrys newest addition to the cycling calender was something of a leap of faith by organisers, Tauranga Road Cycling Club and Cycle Action Tauranga, as it was a completely unknown if cyclists would be interested in racing between Christmas and New Year or if they would travel to an area more renowned for surf and triathlons than it is for cycling. Fortunately, the event was a huge success, with over 140 competitors taking part, ranging from complete novices thru to seasoned international cyclists from all around the upper North Island. A shower of rain late afternoon almost threatened to put a stop to the racing before it even started, but warm conditions meant the road quickly dried to allow racing to get underway on time at 6.00pm. The huge C Grade field was off first, and this was split into two races for the safety of the less experienced riders. In the first race, Tim Bennett again showed the form he had in the Auckland ORCA Urban Street Series a week prior, taking out first place from Chris Quirk, with Cam Wooller coming home third on points. The second C Grade race saw local Glenn Hughes take first place from Nathan Bunn of Te Awamutu. Young Nathan had also had recent sucess in the Auckland criteriums and put in a gutsy ride today. Third was one of his Te Awamutu club mates, Sean Christiensen. 54 riders fronted up to the line in the B Grade and there was some impressive racing. Former English professional rider Paul Rogers (now based in Tauranga) made a solo breakaway, taking out the first 3 sprints before being caught by the bunch. Top triathlete and Iron Man Brian Rhodes of Taupo made a strong showing to take 2nd place, with Clinton Avery taking third, after a countback on placings. An heroic burst in the final sprint saw Simon Cavangh take the final sprint, but he was left one point short of a podium placing. The A Grade comprised of an impressive line up of many of the countrys top cyclists, from young juniors like Sam Bewley and Mark Langlands right through to veterans such as the legendary Jack Swart. Riders set a hot pace, but a breakaway by a bunch of four (Matt Gilbert, Marc Mackay, Scott Guyton and Geoff Burndred) shortly after the half way point sealed the finishing order, with the main bunch never reeling this group back in. A couple of first placings in the sprints saw Marc Mackay the eventual winner. Positive feedback from competitors and spectators means that it looks like it will all be on again next year, and now that we know what we are up for, we'll probably introduce some more grades and the No.1 improvement will be seperate prizes for women! Results C Grade Race 1 1. Tim Bennett, Te Awamutu 2. Chris Quirk, Auckland 3. Cam Wooller, Auckland 4. Darren Faulkner, Auckland = 5 Mark Taylor, Tauranga = 5 Bryce Dawbin, Mt Maunganui C Grade Race 2 1. Glenn Hughes, Papamoa 2. Nathan Bunn, Te Awamutu 3. Sean Christiensen, Te Awamutu 4. Clive Cooper, Cambridge 5. Ross Peploe 6. Marcel Te Brake, Te Awamutu B Grade 1. Paul Rogers, Tauranga 2. Brian Rhodes, Taupo 3. Clinton Avery, Rotorua 4. Simon Cavanagh, Hamilton 5. Manu Robson, Te Awamutu 6. Russell Nant, Tauranga 7. Gary Stuck, Brisbane 8. Luke Cornelle, Te Awamutu 9. Glen Roberts, Tauranga A Grade 1. Marc Mackay, Rotorua 2. Scott Guyton, Rotorua 3. Geoff Burndred, Rotorua 4. Gordan Bearman, Auckland 5. Paul Bishop, Rotorua 6. Matt Gilbert, Auckland 7. Mike Willissee, Wanganui 8. Adam Curry 9. Tim Gudsell, Te Awamutu 10. Ryan Russell, Hamilton 11. Mark Langland, Te Awamutu 12. Sam Bewley, Rotorua
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