The 2nd annual Rodney Rabbit Ride kicked off the summer of cycling.co.nz series on Saturday 17th. The field included a some of New Zealand's top elite and fun cycle challenge riders. A total of 107 riders from around New Zealand and one International (Karl Murray: Now living in New Caledonia) tackled the hot and windy conditions over the hill country of Rodney district.
The 100k event became the Gordon McCauley show as he rode like a rabbit attacking from the start taking with him a group of top riders including (Paul Bishop, Blair Taylor, Karl Murray, Aaron Strong, Matthew Gilbert, Paul Sumich, Richard Speer, Craig Pitt, Ryan Hoogenberg, Alastair Borwick and others). Gordon attacked again to go solo but was soon joined by Aaron strong, Matthew Gilbert and Craig Pitt as they averaged 60kph along Kahikatea flat rd.
This foursome would ride to a 1 minute lead on the chasing bunch before McCauley attack! ed again on Peak rd to go solo for the last time taking out the 'Bigsky' Hill prime on top of Old north rd leaving Gilbert and Strong chasing 35 seconds back while Craig Pitt went back to the Paul Sumich and Karl Murray lead group a further 30 seconds back.
McCauley stayed clear taking the Hot spot cash outside of Helensville with Gilbert and Strong just holding on before being swept up by the chase group which had now narrowed the gap to McCauley to 45 seconds. On the return via Old north rd (Riverhead forest) in an excellent move, Craig Pitt and Paul Sumich broke clear of the chase group shortly before the Riverhead Hot spot sprint taking the second and third place cash. They then rode to a 15 second advantage on the chasers when Paul Sumich attacked Pitt to go after McCauley in a fine ride to close the gap to within 23 seconds at the finish line at the Albany North harbour stadium. Lisa Haynes rode strongly throughout to take 18th place and 1st Women.
The 65k event saw a very strong ride by Neil Shaw fin ishing solo ahead of Paul Reed and Benny van der Griend. Paula Drew rode well to take 6th place overall and 1st Women.
The prize giving saw many of the fun riders taking away the major spot prizes of a trip to the Gold coast for 2 from (Freedom Air), a Bauer Warp road bike from (Bauer/Orewa cycle works). The Rodney Rabbit Ride next year (2005) will have a new course and start and finish in the Rodney district. A special thanks to all the volunteers, police and sponsors for making the RRR 04 a safe, fun and challenging event.
Full results for the Rodney Rabbit Ride (including the Triple Crown points standings) are posted at www.summerofcycling.co.nz.
The next event in the Summer of cycling.co.nz series is the 55k/120k cycle challenge the Tour of the Wild Wild West February 15th starting in Titirangi and finishing in Muriwai Beach. Entries close February 8th, 2004.
RRR 04 - 100k
1. Gordon McCauley (Monex) 2hrs.40m.31s
2. Paul Sumich (IBike) 2hrs.40.54s
3. Craig Pitt (Hot cycles) 2hrs.42m.21s
4. Ryan Hoogenberg 2hrs.44m.25s
5. Karl Murray 2hrs.44m.27s
6. Blair Taylor (IBike) 2hrs.44m.28s
7. Matthew Gilbert 2hrs.44m.43s
8. Paul Bishop 2hrs.44m.44s
9. Jon Bridges (IBike) 2hrs.45m.20s
10. Jianni Koutos 2hrs.45m.28s
RRR 04 - 65k
1. Neil Shaw 2hr.2m.10s
2. Paul Reed 2hrs.4m.49s
3. Benny van der Griend 2hrs.5m.02s
4. Stephen Kerr 2hrs.5m.02s
5. Peter Sedim 2hrs.21m.32s
6. Andrew Jackson 2hrs.21m.43s
7. Paula Drew 2hrs.25m.19s (1st Women)
8. David Pilkington 2hrs.25m.20s
9. Robert Holm 2hrs.29m.50s
10. Guy Williams 2hrs.31m.04s