Van Antwerpen Victory In Okaramio Hotel Challenge Trophy

Scratch rider Gerard van Antwerpen timed his finish perfectly to take first place and fastest time in Cuddon Cycling Marlborough’s Okaramio Hotel Challenge Trophy event at Okaramio last Saturday afternoon.
The open grade 50km handicap event covered a course out to Havelock, and over the Mahakipawa hill to almost Linkwater and return. After a tailwind on the outward journey the riders were tested with cold and wet conditions on the homeward leg. The nine minute markers of Dave Hutchison, Martin Fletcher, Graham Henderson and Frank Marfell worked well together to hit the front at Havelock on the return trip. At Rocky Creek (6km to go) the four were just 300m ahead of scratch markers Van Antwerpen and Lee Griggs, and Mike Murphy (off 5m). With 1km to go the catch was made with a Van Antwerpen attack which saw him ride clear for the win. The close sprint for the minor placings saw Fletcher lead out to hold off Henderson, Murphy and Griggs respectively.
Results:
Open grade- Okaramio Hotel Challenge Trophy 50km handicap, G van Antwerpen (off scr) 1, M Fletcher (off 9m) 2, G Henderson (off 9m) 3, M Murphy (off 5m) 4, L Griggs (off scr) 5, F Marfell (off 9m) 6, D Hutchison (off 9m) 7, D Church (off 20m) 8, B Verhoef (off 5m) 9, G Painter (off 22m) 10. Fastest time, G van Antwerpen (scr) 1hr 19m 34s 1, L Griggs (scr) 1hr 19m 42s 2, M Murphy (5m) 1hr 24m 42s 3, M Fletcher (9m) 1hr 28m 42s 4, G Henderson (9m) s.t. 5.