Close racing over the hilly Blenheim to Awatere Valley and return course saw a grandstand finish in Cuddon Cycling Marlborough’s James Palatchie Memorial Cup event last Saturday afternoon.
The 45km open grade handicap event started at Riverlands covering a course over the Weld and Dashwood Pass into the Awatere Valley Road and return. The three large bunches of backmarkers soon stomped their dominance on the rest of the field with each group only losing a few riders over the climbs. The last of the frontmarkers, Denis Church (off 28min) was caught after a great effort only 5km from home. The remnants of the 5m 30s group just managed to sneak home 15 seconds ahead of the scratch group. The sprint to the line saw a great win to Bryan Streeter over co-markers Ryan Lock, Damian Vercoe and Wayne Smith. Scratch rider Conway Taylor recorded fastest time from Chris Heywood and Josh Scott.
The junior under 17 grade rode a handicap event over 24km for the Palatchie Cup on the Taylor Pass Road. The twice out and return course saw the 3 minute markers work their way through the field to sprint for the major placings. A photo finish saw Nick Blakiston get the nod over Sonia Ginders with Elodie Jacoby in third place. Fastest time went to scratch marker Callum Saunders in another close finish over Pim Greven.
Open grade- James Palatchie Memorial Cup 45km hcp, B Streeter (off 5m 30s) 1, R Lock (off 5m 30s) 2, D Vercoe (off 5m 30s) 3, W Smith (off 5m 30s) 4, C Taylor (off scr) 5, C Heywood (off scr) 6, A Clark (off 3m) 7, J Scott (off scr) 8, T Neal (off 3m) 9, R Dunn (off 3m) 10. Fastest time, C Taylor (scr) 65m 40s 1, C Heywood (scr) s.t. 2, J Scott (scr) s.t. 3, R Dunstan (scr) s.t. 4, A Clark (3m) 68m 40s 5.
Junior under 17 grade- Palatchie Cup 24km hcp, N Blakiston (off 3m) 1, S Ginders (off 3m) 2, E Jacoby (off 3m) 3, D Cresswell (off 7m) 4, C Saunders (off scr) 5. Fastest time, C Saunders (scr) 41m 35s 1, P Greven (scr) s.t. 2, W Hart (scr) 41m 40s 3.
It was unfortunate 4 riders were disqualified in the open grade event because of traffic infringements. A brilliant ride by Brent Harris (off 3min) saw him cross the line first 40 seconds ahead of the next rider, and scratch rider Richard Anderson also had an excellent ride to finish 2 seconds ahead of his co-markers. Hard luck chaps, but a lesson to be learnt by all.