Cuddon Cycling Marlborough continued their Winter Series races last Saturday afternoon on the roads of the Lower Wairau area, after a small break for last weekend's Secondary Schools 2-day Tour.
A nice quality field turned out for the popular Van Antwerpen trophies race, with a surprise entry of current NewZealand Elite road cycling champion Jason Christie. The stiff easterly breeze made the racing challenging for the riders, with speeds going up and down according to the road directions. None of the handicap bunches stayed fully intact, with riders dropping off along the way, but then some managing to come back while hanging on to the faster chasers.
Christie showed his class by making up a 1 minute gap to the 2 break riders Ethan Batt and Gerard van Antwerpen within 10km's. These 2 then managed to hold on only for a few km's before Christie continued making his way through the field, to end up a mere 20 seconds behind the front riders at the end.
Those riders, Dylan Hodson, Graham Michell and Nick Blakiston, were the remnants of the 6 man 10min handicap group. Of these, Blakiston, although suffering in the side winds, had enough speed left to outsprint the others for the Van Antwerpen trophy. Hodson getting 2nd only 2 seconds behind and Mitchell 3rd, at 14 seconds. Very closely behind Christie came flying in for 4th followed at 25 sec. by his girlfriend Georgia Catterick (off 3min) at 5th place.
Christie obviously got fastest time, 1h2m4s, with a gap of almost 3m30s to Van Antwerpen, who outsprinted Batt who had put in some great efforts in the last lap to try and catch as many riders as possible. Catterick managed to get 4th fastest by being 1 second ahead of Batt on time.
The 28km short race, over 2 laps, for the Amtman trophy had an equal close finish, with Sam Spencer, off a 4min handicap, holding off scratch riders Andrew Bidwell and Niels van Antwerpen by a mere 15 meters on the line. The limit group of Hugh Straker, Stacey Mitchell and Shanay Harvey stuck together well and came in, in that order, some 2 and a half minutes behind the front.
With the fastest time Bidwell got the Sincock trophy, ahead of Van Antwerepen and Spencer.
This coming weekend the racing will be graded and held on the short Lower Wairau circuit.
Long race, 3 laps, 43km: 1 and Van Antwerpen Hcp Trophy, Nick Blakiston (10m); 2, Dylan Hodson (10m); 3, Graham Mitchell (10m); 4, Jason Christie (SCR); 5, Georgia Catterick (3m); 6, Mike Murphy (7m); 7, Kim Marshall (7m); 8, Merrick Thompson (10m); 9, Gerard van Antwerpen (1m); 10, Callum Caughey (3m); 11, Sam Morgan (3m); 12, Ethan Batt (1m); 13, Tony Catterick (3m); 14, Craig Harper (3m); 15, Dave Hutchison (14m); 16, Greg Norton (14m); 17, Ian Martella (10m); 18, Matt Straker (10m); , DNF Graham Henderson (14m);
Fastest time: 1, J Christie (1hr02m04s); 2, (and V Antwerpen FT trophy)G van Antwerpen (1hr05m25s); 3, G Catterick (1hr05m29s); 4, E Batt (1hr05m30s); 5, C Caughey (1hr07m25s); 6, S Morgan (1hr07m25s); 7, T Catterick (1hr07m30s); 8, C Harper (1hr09m00s); 9, M Murphy (1hr10m47s); 10, K Marshall (1hr10m47s); 11, N Blakiston (1hr11m35s); 12, D Hodson (1hr11m37s); 13, G Mitchell (1hr11m49s); 14, M Thompson (1hr14m18s); 15, I Martella (1hr18m10s); 16, D Hutchison (1hr21m10s); 17, G Norton (1hr21m40s); 18, M Straker (1hr22m35s); G Henderson (DNF);
Short race, 2 laps,28km: 1 and Amtman Trophy, Sam Spencer (4m); 2, Andrew Bidwell (SCR); 3, Niels van Antwerpen (SCR); 4, Hugh Straker (11m); 5, Stacey Mitchell (11m); 6, Shanay Harvey (11m); 7, Adam Bidwell (8m);
Fastest time: 1 and Sincock Trophy, A Bidwell (45m52s); 2, N van Antwerpen (45m52s); 3, S Spencer (49m51s); 4, H Straker (59m29s); 5, S Mitchell (59m33s); 6, S Harvey (1hr00m59s); 7, A Bidwell (1hr01m40s);