The Wanganui Cycling Club claimed the 2018 West Coast North Island Interclub Series title on their home roads last weekend.
Nearly 100 riders took part in excellent racing conditions on Sunday at the Brunswick Circuit, for what was the final leg of three that makes up the series between competitors from the Horowheuna, Manawatu, Taranaki and Whanganui clubs.
Accumulated points from the first two race days had the Bike Manawatu and Wanganui clubs neck-and-neck, with the title to be decided between them.
Split into five grades, A to E, racing began at 10am on a 21km circuit, which favoured the power riders over the climbers – except for the short sharp hill out of Western Line into Westmere Station Rd.
A Grade kicked of the day with a four lap, 84km race.
Within the first lap, local fireman Glenn Haden, carrying great form from National Club Championships, had ridden off the front, never to be caught.
The bunch crossed the finishing line some four minutes behind, including a closely fought sprint finish between two New Plymouth cyclists, with runnerup Mikey McCallum edging Isaac Burton into third.
Young Wanganui Collegiate cyclist Kyle Hoskin rode to victory in the three lap, 63km B Grade event.
Hoskin was all class as he used the last hill to gap the peloton and never looked like being beaten.
Selected to represent New Zealand in the Under 17 squad and heading to Australia shortly for some stage racing, Hoskin's form is looking good.
The bunch sprint saw Manawatu cyclist Michael Redmond finish second with two Whanganui cyclists, Rob Gemmell and Stephen Brandon, taking third and fourth respectively.
C Grade's race over two laps and 42km of hard riding came down to a sprint finish, with the top seven riders split by 10 seconds.
Taking out the win was New Plymouth's Richard Peters, who narrowly beat Manawatu's Ben Irvine.
Not far behind in third was Stratford's Craig Forsyth.
In a race dominated by the blue shirts of Wanganui Cycling Club, five of the next six places were taken by Whanganui riders.
Youngster Finnegan Murphy finished a very close fourth, missing the podium by millimetres, with Cherie Prince fifth and Ashley Christie, Ross McNeil and Paul Forrest filling 6-9th.
Apart from competing for the grade win, the racing was to accumulate overall points for the club, the more the merrier, as every entry qualified for at least one point.
D and E Grades raced together over one very fast lap of 21km.
Allan Luff, the wily Whanganui campaigner, took out the D Grade, with local Tim Chambers finishing in a commendable second place and Antony Baker, New Plymouth, coming home third.
In the E Grade, veteran cyclist Laurie Mildenhall, representing Hawera, took an easy win over John McMahon of Cycling New Plymouth while third place went to Hawera's Fiona Plumtree.
Proudly, the Wanganui club won the series with a total 723 points, with New Plymouth getting up for second with 644 points while Bike Manawatu took third with 582.
The three event Interclub series is set to return as an annual fixture, after a hiatus of many years.