What a fantastic turnout!
102 riders for the inaugural POTATO GUY Winter Series race!
From memory this is a record turnout for a Winter Series race. Word must have got out about the POTATO GUY spuds that were on offer after the race.
So - how did it all go?
Depends who you talk to I guess. Some of us thrived - some survived and others of us got chewed up, spat out and suffered like dogs (not naming any names). But the cool thing is - no matter where you are on that spectrum - it's all good. It's got to be good for you...
It's difficult to get away from a good sized group on this course - and all grades resulted in close racing and bunch sprints.
The A grade included that pesky Tandem of Ross Leger's - this time with the considerable power of Sam King-Turner stoking away at the rear. They took out the A grade sprint well - but 2 against one isn't quite fair - so they've been put in a category of their own. Great ride guys...
The others were close behind them however with Chris Kendall taking the honours from Silas Cullen and Miles Davies. And with a over 40km/hr average speed - great work from the A grade. (I hope they let the tandem do all the work into the wind?)
I was in the B grade - so should be able to give a blow by blow account of proceedings - but alas - I was spat out on the 2nd lap so didn't get to see the decisive moves. I did manage to get back to the finish to see the sprint however. And it was a great win by young Vaughn Pretorius - who had the feild licked with 50m to go and even managed to have time to have a look round to see if he had any challengers. But by that stage they were vying for 2nd and 3rd. These were well taken by Kane McCollum and Elliot Pahl. Fantastic also to see young Charles Salmon finishing with the bunch - first time in B grade and handled it with aplomb. Well done Charles - awesome progress...
C grade was another big bunch thundering down on the finish. Robert Te Moana took it out from Connor Johnson and Dave Jordan. Very very close racing here though - with 2 seconds separating 1st from 13th! Well done to everyone in that group.
D grade was taken out by Richard Ainsworth from John McCardle and Dave Foot. Great to see John has recovered from his aborted Cape Reinga to Wellington ride - and is finding some great early season form. (Sorry Adrian Lumsden - I told you you took 3rd - but alas it was 4th across the line (but 3rd in the points) - very close though).
So there you have it - a fantastic day all round!
You can see the full results by clicking HERE. The people that are listed with ?? question marks - are people that I have no record of other than registering. So either they didn't finish or didn't have a tag - or had some tag problem. Fill me in on any details that might paint a clearer picture - in the comments below.
Big thanks to the race management and marshalls and everyone who helped make for a great, safe - and enjoyable event.
And a HUGE thanks to our principal sponsor Tim Neal - the POTATO GUY - who was a refuge of solace for those of us who didn't quite finish. Great Spuds Tim - perfect after a hard effort.