Karori cyclist Steve Bale was able to make it back-to-back Whanganui line honours in the Road Race of the Downer New Zealand Masters Games, out on the traditional Brunswick Rd course this morning.
Unlike 2017, when the Wellingtonian stayed in the lead group and made repeated attacks to push the pace and eventually move away from the field, this time Bale went at it like a bullet from a gun and could not be headed.
He completed the 66km race in under 90 minutes, having put down consistent 17-19 minute times across the six laps, to finish over two minutes clear of his nearest competition.
"I left them the first half of the first lap," Bale said.
"Spent 60km on my own, it's lonely. I was in time trial mode.
"Carbon copy of last time. I love this course."
Bale said he was always surprised that for a country road, the Brunswick course is quite smooth.
The cycling coach was pleased to see that his Fitlab team mate Lee Campbell ultimately worked clear to finish second overall.
It was Bale's third straight NZMG Road Race title after also winning Dunedin 2018.
Heading straight back home afterwards, Bale will now continue his preparations for the upcoming series of Wellington and North Island races.
The Road Race closed a hectic four days for the cycling component of the NZMG with the time trials preceding the opening ceremony on Friday, while the Okoia hill climb and track racing in the Velodrome were on Saturday.
Around 155 riders entered some or all of the events.
"We're pretty pleased with the cycling numbers," said spokesman Ron Cheatley.
"The track [events] went off pretty good, although there were a couple of crashes."
Competing at the velodrome was Peter Quax, who set the fastest 500m time trial time of 40.2s out all divisions.
Quax is the brother of the late Olympic silver medallist and former world record holder Dick Quax, while being a competitive national championship-level athlete himself.
Preparing for the upcoming National Age Group championships, Quax reflected on how the NZMG has changed from its roots after 30 years, having himself entered back in the late 1990's.
"Athletics and cycling were so competitive, it was just like running an extra [New Zealand] champs.
"You had to be on bloody good form and prepare for it.
"To me [now], it's not a hit out, not a race. [But] it doesn't always work like that, as my wife only won her age group.
"But for me, it's about coming down here and doing performances."