Top riders tackle the wind and gravel in South Wairarapa

Race Three of Trust House Team Series

Tough day of racing for round 3 of the Trust House North Island Team Series with a hilly course profile and strong cross/headwinds as well as a gravel section for the riders on the return journey from Martinborough to Tora and return.

In the Masters One race an early two man break, comprised of Brendan McGrath and Matt Sharland were reeled back in near the summit of the White Rock climb. On the descent Steve Bale (Fitlab) went clear holding a steady gap all the way out towards the turn near Tora. A sporadic chase effort from the group allowed Bale to stay clear until the top of the return climb (Range Rd) where he was joined by team mates Brendan McGrath and Matt Frecklington, along with Brent Backhouse (MeoGP) and Steven McKinstry (Rivet).

At this point series leader Gavin McCarthy (Wheelworks) was back in the remnants of the main peloton being shepherded along by team mates Andy Hagan and Tristan Thomas. The front group of 5 never looked in danger of being caught and approaching the first pass of the gravel section Steve Bale took a flyer into the right-hand turn and immediately got a gap. Exiting the gravel Brendan McGrath punctured and it was down to Backhouse, Frecklington and McKinstry with Bale going clear for a fine solo victory. The sprint for second was taken out by Backhouse, Frecklington 3rd.

In the masters two grade the action also started early with a single rider initiating a break after 5km of racing. Glenn Kirk from Palmerston North racing for the West Coast team broke away and manage to get a lead of thirty seconds after eight kilometres of racing, he was join soon by Tony Gestro from BDO team and the two rode together up the five kilometre hill climb near Tuturumuri on their way to Tora. Near the turn Cliff Hughes also from BDO team manage to rider across the two leaders and they quickly increase their lead to almost five minutes with ten kilometres to the finish thanks to the good work of the two BDO riders.

In the end it was a three men sprint with Tony Gestro from BDO winning the race from last year’s race winner Cliff Hughes by less than half of second, Rider of the day Glenn Kirk come in third place with the main bunch over four minutes behind.

In the end of the race current leader Huib Buyck finishing in 7th place lost the leader jersey to Matthew Stevens from BDO team, they are equal on points after three races but Stevens got the jersey as he finish in front of Huib Buyck..

In Masters Three the race was as exciting as the other two. The hill also split up the field with a small group of strong climbers going away and managing a lead of almost a minute from the chasing riders at the half way. Eight riders manage to make a break in the last 2okm with grade leader Oliver Ferry from Optimal Performance team taking the win ahead of Andrew Anson from Kapiti in second and Ian Paintin coming in third place.

The fourth race of the North Island Series on Saturday 3rd November is the “Queen Stage” of the series with riders facing the first top of the mountain finish of the series. Riders will race from Rangitumau towards Alfredton and Tirumea via Mauriceville and Dryers Rock before returning to the finish at the top of Rangitumau hill.

Race three results – Trust House North Island Team Series

Master One
1st Steve Bale - Fitlab
2nd Brent Backhouse – MEO GP
3rd Matt Flecklington – Fitlab
Current leader – Gavin McCarthy – Wheelworks Team

Masters Two
1st Tony Gestro – BDO
2nd Cliff Hughes – WCNI
3rd Glenn Kirk – WCNI
New leader – Matthew Stevens – BDO team

Masters Three
1st Oliver Ferry – Optimal Performance
2nd Andrew Hanson – Kapiti Cycling
3rd Ian Painting – Kiwivelo
Current leader - Oliver Ferry – Optimal Performance