Bici Vida took a hat trick in the overall results in bioSPORT City Criterium Series Finale last night at the Viaduct Tank Farm. Mike Northey was awarded the well-deserved first Place, taking out second and two primes in the sixth and final race to cement his lead in series points. Team mate Alex Ray took the line honours winning him second place overall, his efforts last night pulling him ahead of fellow Bici Vida rider Patrick Bevin who was awarded third.
The A Grade race was fast and furious with riders feeling the urgency of the last chance to grab the series points amidst the disappearing light. The field was stacked with many well-known cycling names including teams from Subway-Avanti, Placemakers, KiwiVelo and Bici Vida. Gordon McCauley (Subway-Avanti) and Placemaker's Scott Mullarkey were often at the front of the pack disrupting Bici Vida and taking out primes along with Aaron Gate and Glen Frost. McCauley sprinted into third place.
With only two points separating the leaders in the hotly contested B grade it could've been anyone's. With speeds reaching over 65km/hr Daniel Gate pulled out all the stops to cross the line first and took his place as B Grade champion. Jason Waterhouse (Rode) was awarded second place and Andrew Feringa took advantage of the double-prime points to make his prime and second place pull him into third series placing just ahead of Jeremy Turner from Cibo who won a prime along with Richard Carter and Darren Cole.
In the Elite Women's race Rosy McCall raced intelligently and positioned herself for a good finish, coming first just ahead of Kate Chilcott and Gayle Brownlee. However Brownlee's series points lead awarded her a well-deserved Series first placing, with Kate Chillcott second and Kate Mullarkey third.
For the first time in the City Criterium Series the C Grade dropped a bunch a few laps in, indicating the increased standard of racing. bioSPORT's Greg Pain was heard discussing with spectators "It's been so rewarding to see the standard of riding improve throughout the series. The whole point of having a C grade was to enable people to have a go and let the B grade be a little more serious. This seems to have worked really well, they've certainly got the hang of it now."
With Jianni Koutsos (iBike) and Hugo Bloor often leading the charge, speeds were well in excess of previous races. Pulled in at the end it was the closest and tightest finish to date. Sam Brothers won the race and the Series; Nathan Tuck came second ahead of Chad Elliston with a prime each to Hugo Bloor and Elliston. In the series Dan Pavis was awarded second and Bloor third.
Competitors and spectators were in agreement that the new organizers of the City Crits had put on an outstanding series. As Northey sprayed champagne over the crowd the question was asked to bioSPORT's Greg Pain if he'd be continuing next season, "With the support you have given the race how could I not?" replied Pain, "Seriously, it's been so stressful but your support makes it all so worth it and so enjoyable, bioSPORT will be looking into a spring series at the end of the year". Pain made a point of thanking the support of the cycling community at large, particularly the prize sponsors Air New Zealand, Allpress Espresso, Cibo Restaurant, cyclingnzshop.com, Grace Lang Optometry, Hammer Nutrition, and Sanctuary Developments.
SERIES RESULTS, bioSPORT City Criterium Summer Series 2010
1. Mike Northey 2. Alex Ray 3. Patrick Bevin (Bici Vida)
1. Gayle Brownlee 2. Kate Chilcott 3. Kate Mullarkey
1. Daniel Gate 2. Jason Waterhouse 3. Andrew Feringa
1. Sam Brothers 2. Dan Pavis 3. Hugo Bloor
RESULTS, bioSPORT City Criterium Series, Race 6 (Wednesday, 31st March)
1. Alex Ray (Bici Vida) 2. Mike Northey (Bici Vida) 3. Gordon McCauley (Subway-Avanti)
1. Rosy McCall 2. Kate Chilcott 3. Gayle Brownlee
1. Daniel Gate 2. Andrew Feringa 3. James Moffat
1. Sam Brothers 2. Nathan Tuck 3. Chad Elliston
Pete Bruggeman http://www.pbase.com/bruggersphotography
Mead Norton www.naturalstudios.co.nz