Tuesday saw a good mix of 38 Athletics and Cycling Masterton cyclists take on the testing Parkvale, Martinborough, Longbush circuit in a graded road race over 60km.
The southeasterly wind made its presence felt, especially east of Martinborough, and it was cool by the race end.
The course is comfortable going on the run down to Martinborough but becomes testing leaving the town and up through Longbush with a series of sharp and narrow climbs. Then there is the steep side of Millars Rd to contend with.
Graded road races are the reverse of handicap races, where the slowest riders start first with the fastest riders leaving last. In graded races A graders start first, followed at minute intervals by B, C and D graders.
This event commenced from Parkvale Hall. There was early excitement when wheels touched and a couple of riders took a tumble. The A grade field pulled over leaving the race wide open to the B graders who grabbed the opportunity.
Earl Whitcombe took line honours, sharing the same time with Derek Cox, with Lawrence Field one second back completing the podium. Lesley Mouat was first woman home, followed by Kirsten Goodin and Julie Millar. With few exceptions, times were slower than the same race one year ago, reflecting the cool and breezy conditions. Riders appreciated the marshals spread around the course even at the most remote corners, and the excellent race management and timekeeping.
Actual race times were:
A grade: All riders withdrew.
B grade: Earl Whitcombe 1.43.05, Derek Cox 1.43.05, Lawrence Field 1.43.06, Lesley Mouat 1.43.23, Brian Sanders 1.43.23, Mike Clinton-Baker 1.43.24, Devan Simmonds 1.48.16, Anthony Morris 1.54.02.
C grade: Harry Kent 1.47.03, Mark Sowry 1.47.03, Simon Butler 1.47.04, Kirsten Goodin 1.47.04, Julie Millar 1.47.05, Tom Porter 1.47.05, Richard Brooks 1.47.11, Darren Southon 1.47.11, Brian Graham 1.48.02, Mason Wilkie 1.48.25, Sheri Wales 1.53.03, Douglas Maclachlan 1.56.24, Mike Parker 2.00.11.
C grade: Lloyd Miller 2.01.28, Jenna Mangin 2.03.32, Grant Burkhart 2.04.29, Viv Bunny 2.05.36, Dave McKinlay 2.05.36, Stan Braaksma 2.08.37.
A handicap road race will be held over the Dalefield Loop over 38km next Tuesday, starting at Railway R d. No late registrations will be accepted.