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Benchmark Homes 8 – Round Six
27 Aug, 2007 - Greg Hume

Benchmark Homes 8 – Round Six

 

Harty's Open at Tai Tapu - Sunday, 26th August 2007

 

Drama in the final two kilometres of the 140km Harty's Open on Sunday almost deprived Hayden Roulston (Tinwald) from winning this unique event as he punctured exiting the last of the unsealed sections.  The Olympian recovered well to re-join his breakaway companion Marc Ryan (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) as the 40-strong peloton breathed down their necks with the finish line in sight.  Roulston took the two-up sprint whilst Ryan's team-mate and round five winner, Reon Park sprinted home the main field just 12 seconds down.

 

Joe Chapman's (Harty's – Lowe & Associates) fourth place earned him 18 points which dramatically reduced the gap on series leader Paul Odlin who punctured on the last of the unsealed sections also.  The late puncture prevented Odlin scoring any points for the first time in this year's series.    

 

Perfect conditions greeted the 80 rider field for round six of the Benchmark Homes 8 that was a virtual tour of the southern Selwyn District.  Six sections of unsealed road were set to play a key role in determining the winner for the $1,000 first prize.

 

First attack of the day came from Alasdair Duncan (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) and Stuart Lowe (Harty's – Lowe & Associates) who gained a good advantage as the peloton appeared content to warm into the long dusty day ahead.  Duncan soon sat up leaving Lowe to be joined by team-mate Anthony Chapman, Andrew Williams (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team), and James Fairweather (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team).  The quartet built a 40 second lead after half an hour of racing that increased to one minute 32 seconds at the 40km mark.

 

At the township of Southbridge, the lead dropped to just under a minute as a number of riders looked to bridge the gap.  The successful riders to break clear of the main field were Dan Waluszewski (Port Nicholson Poneke), Jonathon Gee and Greg Atkins (Papanui), Craig Scott (Harty's – Lowe & Associates), Brad McFarlane (Laurie Dawe Cycling Team), and Duncan.

 

By Leeston at kilometre 72, the leaders had grouped to lead the peloton by a minute which had picked up Duncan for the second time.  Jason Christie (Tinwald) and Sam Horgan (Laurie Dawe Cycling Team) had closed to 30 seconds before retiring to the comfort of the peloton.

 

The lead dropped to 45 seconds as it appeared the whole race would come together before the first unsealed section at 106 kilometres.  However the elastic stretched again to the biggest lead of the day at one minute 55 seconds as the breakaway tackled the dirt road without incident.

 

On the approach to this section, Odlin stormed to the front and stretched the intact peloton to pave his own way past the potholes.  Gaps began to open as Roulston took over the pace-making that had the affect of several riders slipping off the back of the main bunch.

 

Passing Tai Tapu (112km) to begin five laps of the 5.5km finishing circuit, the lead at the front was reduced to just over a minute as the leaders began showing signs of tiredness.

 

As the laps counted down, Ryan and Horgan were first to successfully leave the peloton and make contact with the leaders as several riders from the front group slipped backwards on the rutted unsealed sections.  Roulston was next across as the scenario at the front changed rapidly.

 

On the penultimate lap, Roulston and Ryan applied the pressure that took them clear of the leaders.  As the remnants of the breakaway were caught on the final lap, Roulston suffered his mechanical mishap.  A quick wheel change saw him regain contact with Ryan to lead last year's series three-round winner across the line narrowly ahead of the fast charging peloton.

 

Park's third place finish moved him to third overall in the series, ahead of the respective Over 40 and Under 23 classification leaders Brian Fowler (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) and Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team).  Katri Lake (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) finished first woman to close the gap to two points of current Women's leader Tracy Clark (Laurie Dawe Cycling Team).

 

The Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team won the day's Team prize for the first time in the series to further eat into the lead of the Benchmark Homes Cycling Team in its chase for the series' top team award.

 

Acknowledgement must go to Chief commissaire Zac Prendergast and his assistant Brian Roulston for a well controlled race that particularly saw constant changing scenarios on the narrow roads of the finishing circuit.  Their ability to control both the riders and team service vehicles on such a circuit was a credit to them both that must rank them amongst the best commissairing team in the country.

 

Round seven is on September 15th at Rangiora where a clearer picture may be formed to indicate who will take out the major prizes in this year's Benchmark Homes 8.

 

Race photos by Sonia Roussey. 

 

 

Round Six Results (Provisional);

 

  1. Hayden Roulston (Tinwald) 140km in 3hrs 29mins 53secs
  2. Marc Ryan (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) same time
  3. Reon Park (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) at 12 secs
  4. Joe Chapman (Harty's – Lowe & Associates) st
  5. Glenn Rewi (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) st
  6. Dan Waluszewski (Port Nicholson Poneke) st
  7. James Fairweather (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) st
  8. Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) st
  9. Steve Elden (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) st
  10. Andrew Widdup (Harty's – Lowe & Associates) st
  11. Richard Greer (Leeston/Cat 2) st
  12. Scott Wilder (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) st
  13. Brian Fowler (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) st
  14. Nick Hextall (Pegasus/Cat 2) st
  15. Greg Atkins (Pegasus/Cat 2) st

 

Points Standing after Round Six;

 

  1. Paul Odlin (Laurie Dawe Cycling Team) 87 points
  2. Joe Chapman (Harty's – Lowe & Associates) 80pts
  3. Reon Park (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) 61pts
  4. Brian Fowler (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team/Over 40) 59pts
  5. Daniel Barry (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team/U23) 58pts
  6. Hayden Roulston (Tinwald) 50pts
  7. Glenn Rewi (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) 45pts
  8. Marc Ryan (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) 44pts
  9. Michael Kingan (Laurie Dawe Cycling Team) 40pts
  10. Dan Waluszewski (Port Nicholson Poneke/U23) 39pts

 

Women's Classification;

 

  1. Tracy Clark (Laurie Dawe Cycling Team) 39 points
  2. Katri Lake (Kelford – Reiker Cycling Team) 37pts
  3. Annaliisa Farrell (Laurie Dawe Cycling Team) 26pts
  4. Donna Sibley (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) 14pts
  5. Nimesha Smith (Harty's – Lowe & Associates) 12pts
  6. Laura Thompson (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) 10pts

 

 

 

 

Greg Hume

Series Manager

The Papanui Cycling Club Inc.

021 599921

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