A record field of over 60 riders lined up at Sundial Square, Richmond for the 68k race, taking in the Coastal Highway to Seaton Valley, through to Gardeners Valley and Grants Corner at Upper Moutere, passing through the Upper Moutere Township and onto Moutere Saddle, Redwoods, Waimea West, Brightwater to finish at Ranzau Road.
Strong Northerlies kept the riders well to the left along the Appleby Straight and Coastals, traffic was moderate and courteous, able to pass the event in the 2 lane sections, with many passengers cheering the riders as the cars passed the peleton, before turning left into Seaton Valley. The Northerly screamer at their backs along Seaton, a number of riders made their move over Seaton Ridge, with two riders - Robin Reid and Dean Fulton, clear at 20sec. and the rest chasing, through to Upper Moutere and just one rider out on his own at 37sec cresting Moutere Saddle, where the field on the uphill section were still trying to adjust to the strong Northerly sidewinds, blowing the riders to the centre line. The support vehicle team were required to talk to a women driver, when she was attempting to stop on the Moutere Saddle, passed and then sharply cut in front of a cyclist, only to discuss why the riders were on the road and not keeping left !
Through to Russ's Corner (where a wayward vehicle had slid out and crashed through the corner fence at the Waimea Church, only stopped by a large tree from ending up in the 'graveyard'), the race leader still had a lead of 30sec. going into the Waimea West tail wind section. At Brightwater the lead was down to 27sec and closing, but another wayward vehicle turned right in front of the chasing bunch and momentarially slowed the chase.
At Burkes Bank the lead was down to 20sec. and closing, a big bunch sprint was iminent, left turn into Ranzau, the sole leader had 8sec. and went on to win by a 'comfortable' 5sec at the line.
Congratulations to Robin Reid.