The return of George Baxter livened up the cycling scene when he took first place and fastest time in Cuddon Cycling Marlborough’s Waihopai event last Saturday afternoon.
The open grade 40km handicap event covered a course from the Grove Mill Winery to just above Craiglochart and return. With a slight head wind on the outward journey the strong 1minute 30second break bunch led by Baxter caught the 3 minute group and then the 6 minute group just after the turn for home. The large group motored back down the valley to run down the front runners with approximately 10km to go. Seventeen riders lined up for the sprint to the line with Baxter heading off Ray Dunstan (1m 30s), Glen Herkt (3m), Mike Murphy (1m 30s), Graham Henderson (6m), and Martyn Bruce (1m 30s) respectively in a close finish. Baxter, Dunstan and Murphy also took the time placings respectively after heading off the scratch group by 35 seconds.
The junior under 17 grade rode a 20km handicap event to just beyond the Spy Station and return. Hard riding by the scratch duo of Callum Streeter and Ethan Roach saw them hit the front just before the finish. Roach took the sprint for line honours and fastest time from Streeter. Two seconds back Emma Crosswell (off 12m) took third place from co-marker Daniel Cresswell.
Open grade- 40km handicap, G Baxter (off 1m 30s) 1, R Dunstan (off 1m 30s) 2, G Herkt (off 3m) 3, M Murphy (off 1m 30s) 4, G Henderson (off 6m) 5, M Bruce (off 1m 30s) 6, R Murphy (off 6m) 7, M McManaway (off 6m) 8, W Borst (off 12m) 9, M Loach (off 12m) 10. Fastest time, G Baxter (1m 30s) 59m 30s 1, R Dunstan (1m 30s) s.t. 2, M Murphy (1m 30s) s.t. 3, M Bruce (1m 30s) s.t. 4, B Neylon (1m 30s) s.t. 5. Womans fastest time, B Frazer (scr) 60m 05s 1, R Murphy (6m) 64m 00s 2, M Lister (6m) s.t. 3.
Junior under 17 grade- 20km handicap, E Roach (off scr) 1, C Streeter (off scr) 2, E Crosswell (off 12m) 3, D Cresswell (off 12m) 4, L Landon-Lane (off 7m 30s) 5. Fastest time, E Roach (scr) 30m 24s 1, C Streeter (scr) 30m 29s 2, L Landon-Lane (7m 30s) 38m 51s.