Te Horo Winter series Race 2 report and results

27th July 2019.

In contrast to the previous week, the weather was calm, mild, and nearly sunny, leaving Dave Downer and Tristan Ratcliffe to do the course set up in their tee-shirts. Thanks Guys. 

Most people had entered and paid on line which made the work of Emma and Grace on registration a breeze, even leaving Grace enough time to get changed and race too. Over 50 people had pre-paid and entered, with 68 making the start line on the day. Thank you to the ladies on registration and riders utilising the on-line registration...

E Grade were the first to finish, though last to start, and they rotated well, remaining a cohesive bunch throughout the course of the race. They get the prize for best road manners, with plenty of communication, and above all staying left of the white line. In a closely fought contest for the finish clearly these riders had left it all on the course as they finished in a neat paceline with no-one managing to best Harriet Whitmore on the line. Dietrich Pretorius finished ahead of Francis de Hair and Nathalie Hardy.

A brief respite allowed the time keepers to get their sheets in order before C grade came steaming down the road as a massed bunch. Slowly a slight breeze was starting to rise down the finishing straight which was going to test the staying power of the sprinters as time wore on.

Clearly the right people had the right legs at the right time though, as the finish of C grade was very closely fought, requiring the magic of iPad technology to separate a very quick Janice Hill from Ross Penman in second and third, with Ross edging Janice out by a rim and half a tyre. James de Hair had shown the pack a clean pair of heels (nearly) finishing about half a bike length in front of the other contenders. The rest of the pack rushed in very close behind and headed for the finishing chute being manned by Emma Rawlinson, Phil Morgan and one of the bystanders.

Clocking a time only 6 minutes slower than C Grade, D grade was obviously strenuously raced, with Howard Duff being an early victim of the hot pace. With a spread of ages and abilities spanning from Millie Donald to Des Batten, D grade is a great testament to the broad appeal and great accessibility of club racing, with a range of experience, talent, enthusiasm and competition. The largely intact group approached the line with Bruce Jenkins taking line honours ahead of Jo Neeson and the ever green, ever sneaky, and always fast John Pratt. Millie Donald as youngest rider of the day was only just adrift of the bunch. Some contact on the approach to the sprint occasioned an appeal to the race management. Eventually the results were allowed to stand, but please remember that not everyone in a bunch has the same level of experience and make sure your approach, even in the thick of the sprint, always considers the ability of those around you.

After the preliminaries, and road warning to keep left, A grade set off right on time with one of the biggest line-ups we’ve seen for a while at the front of the pack. The pace was clearly hot from the start with 2 dropped after the first lap. Rumour has it that the Next Gen guys rode up from Wellington as a warm up which might have dented their results a little buts get them top prize for effort. Reports from the bunch say that the pace was brisk, but not quite as attacking as last week, and as the last lap drew to a close Mark Donald put in a strong effort leading down to the chicken farm and past the turn. Surreptitiously Matt Webber drifted off the front of the pack over the last of the rollers, and then in true Rivet Racing style he put his head down and never looked back. Matt held his slim margin right to the line with a fine win. The bunch sprint was lead in by Daniel Shepherd with Vaughn Pretorius, as always, putting in a strong finish to come third.

B Grade, as the largest group was always going to be hard to break up, but reports from the bunch point to Oliver Ferry being a leading protagonist, providing much animation in the bunch. Optimal Performance, as ever put in a great showing of team work, all finishing in close succession at the line. However, they were lead in by young Jamie Hodgkinson with Gideon Burke and George Tompkin sharing line honours in that order. Bridget Olphert, in the thick of that bunch was the fastest lady of the day.

Thanks to all that gave a hand on the day; Glynis for organising the volunteers, Dave Downer and Tristan on course set up and assisted on course take-down by Gary Clareburt and others. Thank you to the marshals: Rae Proudfoot, Dave Richardson, Phil Morgan, James Cummings, Neil Harwood and Katie Richardson. Thanks to the helpers on the line, in the chute and at registration: Emma Rawlinson, Grace Saywell, Phil Morgan and Ian Helliwell.

Manager’s Note.

We have a perennial problem with riders crossing the white line. This is problematic on two fronts: Public perception, and Safety. Probably the most important of these is public perception.

We are only allowed to use any course at the behest of the local council, and they take into account the opinion of those living on the route, so we need to not only follow the road rules, but also to appear courteous to other road users (which is a rule of the road too). If riders continue to cross the white line in the presence of traffic, either ahead or from behind, then the council, the race management, and the police receive complaints. Once the problem of perception is taken care of, the safety issue resolves itself.

For race organisers, how to moderate the behaviour of a bunch of riders, out on the road is a difficult one. A Christchurch club which holds a very popular series has a simple rule. An official’s car follows the race, and anyone seen crossing the white line receives a disqualification, and suspension for 3 races. If you have solutions to this issue, please speak to one of the organising officials. It is a problem on which we receive at least 2 complaints a week, and causes us real concern for the future of racing on this, and other circuits.

Many thanks

Paul Rawlinson

Race Manager.

Click HERE to see the results from Race One and Two, and also if you scroll down in each tab, the individual points in the series to date. Each grade has it's own tab.