Strong riding on the hills saw Mark Hawkins take a clear victory in Cuddon Cycling Marlborough’s Okaramio Hotel Challenge Trophy last Saturday afternoon.
The open grade 50km handicap event covered a course from Okaramio Tavern to Havelock and over the Mahakipawa hill to almost Linkwater and return. All handicap groups stayed intact untill the Mahakipawa hill. At the turn for home front marker Denis Church (off 26m) still had a 12 minute lead over the scratch riders, but several other riders were rapidly closing the gap. At Rocky Creek, co-markers Martin Fletcher and Hawkins (off 9m) hit the front, and then Hawkins pulled away on the Rocky Creek hill. Over the last 6kms Hawkins held a good pace to take line honours by 18 seconds to Fletcher. Scratch markers Conway Taylor and Gerard van Antwerpen came in 1m 15s later with Taylor taking third place and fastest time honours.
Open grade- Okaramio Hotel Challenge Trophy 50km handicap, M Hawkins (off 9m) 1, M Fletcher (off 9m) 2, C Taylor (off scr) 3, G van Antwerpen (off scr) 4, T Burfoot (off 2m) 5, L McManaway (off 16m) 6, L Griggs (off 2m) 7, B Verhoef (off 9m) 8, M Murphy (off 2m) 9, M Bruce (off 2m) 10. Fastest time, C Taylor (scr) 1hr 18m 45s 1, G van Antwerpen (scr) s.t. 2, T Burfoot (2m) 1hr 20m 55s 3, L Griggs (2m) 1hr 22m 00s 4, M Murphy (2m) 1hr 23m 02s 5.