It was Mark Langlands who called the tune when the Masterton Cycling Club staged a handicap road race around the Masterton and Bideford areas on Tuesday night.
Langlands, fresh from his efforts in the Tour of Southland, started on the back mark of 16 minutes and caught the entire field to not only take fastest time but also be first across the line.
Also away at 16 minutes was local boy Jack Sowry and he kept pace with Langlands for much of the race until the latter's finishing strength took its toll. Sowry posted second fastest time and was fifth to finish overall.
Third fastest time was returned by Ben Knight and right with him were Andrew Linton and Dave Drummond.
The beauty of handicap racing is that slower riders get the chance to hook on to riders from later starting groups as they come through the field and that can provide some exhilarating racing, and plenty of tall tales to tell at the end.
Assisting on the sidelines was usual competitor Sabella Thurston, nursing cuts and bruises after being taken out by an inconsiderate rider right on the finish line of the Tour of Wairarapa 50km race.
Thurstson's bike was "munted" and all members were quick to wish her a speedy recovery, and a flash new bike.
Mark Langlands 49.23, Ben Knight 51.30, Andrew Linton 51.30, Dave Drummond 51.30, Jack Sowry 49.31, Ian Fraser 57.31, Earl Whitcombe 54.31, Paul Wallace 51.32, Mike Wilkinson 51.32, Jeff Saywell 54.32, Brian Sanders 54.32, Lesley Mouat 54.33, Derek Cox 54.33, Bill Van Woerkom 51.33, Matt Gillan 1.06.23, Grant Burkhart 1.06.23, Diane Chesmar 1.06.24, Terry Blackburn 58.33, Brian Graham 58.34, Julie Millar 58.34, Andrew Curtis-Cody 1.01.36, Anthony Morris 58.49, Simon Butler 1.02.00, Kirstin Goodin 59.14, Douglas Maclachlan 59.14, Ray Haste 1.02.15, Damien Christofis 56.41, Danny Clarkson 1.00.05, Dave McKinlay 1.08.05, Viv Bunny 1.08.06, Lawrence Field 55.21, Phil Sutherland and Brian Lambert (tandem) 1.04.22, Donna Burkhart 1.01.22, Dave Hodder 1.04.37, Lotta Willemstein 1.10.07, Mike Clinton-Baker 1.00.01, Jo Van Woerkom 1.l11.28, Sheri Wales 1.11.28, John Murray 1.05.35, Mike Parker 1.06.38, Russell Pickering 1.03.42.
Next Tuesday's event will be another handicap road race, this time over three laps of the Upper Plain circuit, starting at Upper Manaia Road at 6pm.