Cheatley sees off challengers


Saturday continues to be Bevan Cheatley's favourite day after a comfortable victory in the Wanganui Club Cycling combined A and B grade event.

Thirty-two riders contested the mass-start 36km race over a flat and fast course from Talbot St to the foot of the Aberfeldy Hill and back.

Once again, heavy rain introduced itself into the equation, drenching the riders after arriving just before the 1pm start.

Heading out into those conditions kept everyone on an even keel in the early stages with only a few riders having the odd dig.

Pat Johnston, Darcy Forrester and Martin Hogan got away for a couple of kilometres, but never threatened to escape completely as Cheatley and company soon reeled them in.

Most of the field stayed in the bunch by the halfway turnaround, then watched as Steve Cowan and Phil Groves attacked as they passed Lismore forest.

However everyone was back together as the race reached Upokongaro with just over 10km left setting up a sprint finish.

Cheatley had the confidence to go early on the straight and took the lead with 200m to go, comfortably holding off the challengers to continue his dominance of local events.

Shaun Tucker was runnerup, perhaps benefiting from a handy debut effort at the tough 200km K2 ride around the Coromandel the previous weekend, while teenager James Wright was third.

Finishing 13th overall was Rob Manson who claimed the B-grade honours.

The C-grade race was a 22km return from River Rd, with Craig Bright sprinting clear from the four rider breakaway group to take the win.

Bright is proving a quick adapter as this was only his third race.

Dean Blackwell took a well-earned second place. He was followed by Debbie Cain who came in third.

Results

A&B; Grade: B Cheatley 1, 54 mins, 21 seconds; S Tucker 2; J Wright 3.

C Grade: C Bright 1, 34 mins, 52 seconds; D Blackwell 2; D Cain 3.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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