What a day….The week leading up to Sunday I lost count of the amount of times I checked the met service forecast. Got our ride in on Saturday morning before the heavens opened and had fingers crossed the weather improved for Sunday.
Running events from May to September is more luck than anything else to see if we get away with it weather wise. Cycling is a year round hobby and sport with Schools road cycling effectively run April through to September, so for us on the board that have kids competing at schools level we are used to packing the umbrella when we go racing. The 6 hour has always been in May and most people plan their calendar around it. We have run on Mothers day before but we now try and avoid it to give the Mums a sleep in at least.
Busy start to the day with Gavin from Trident timing here to set up first thing, registrations on the day which increased our numbers another 10%, and then just as we were about to start…it hosed down. Well it is a challenge after all… I commented about the great opportunities the 6 hour delivers in last weeks article and this year again saw another swing in variants. From the seasoned athletes to the absolute first timers, from school groups to retirees…this event caters for them all. Some of the kids were so small I was left gob-smacked with their resilience on the day. The team aspect had a new twist with the majority of the faster teams only having two riders. Some had it split 2 x 3 hour stints, Most did 2hours 2 hours, 1 and 1 to finish… so strategy as it always does played a huge part.
Lets talk numbers…6 hours, 3.03km track. 323 riders, 133 female, 190 Male.79 teams,42 of those teams from schools. 60 solo (51 male, 9 female) included in those were 2 E bikes which did the 90 minute challenge.
The winners were a Workplace team of two (D&A), David and Adam Martin from Bike Manawatu , who completed 82 laps in the allocated time, 248kms, average of 41 kph. To make that even more impressive is that David competed and won a Triathlon in the morning, changed kit and took over from Adam who had done the first 3 hours. First solo Male was Madi Hartley-Brown, who held the lead overall for the first 2 hours or so, only 1 lap behind. First Female solo was Libby Arbuckle just edging Emily Sherman. First in Armed Forces and service clubs was Trentham Alpha with our local BBC team bringing home the first mixed team.. Really competitive schools teams…Fair to say Palmerston North Boys High dominated but just as gratifying was Palmy Girls mixing the teams up with senior and junior riding together as a team building day . There was PNINS uniforms everywhere and a huge amount of parents from the school entering as teams as well. It appears I’m not the only one whose life has changed because my child decided to pick up cycling as a sport..So many winners on the day ..Full results listed below..
Bike Manawatu cannot thank our sponsors enough. We are truly grateful for all their support. Our Gold Sponsors of Ashhurst Engineering and Construction and also Bayleys Real Estate contribute to the running of all of our events. Manfeild specific sponsors for the weekend were Cash Converters, Palmfeilds Mazda and Subaru, Hughes Joinery, The Tank Guy, Rosebowl Bakery, Bike Barn and Ebony Coffee. Special thanks to Melodys New World and Rosebowl bakery for the race pack refreshments..
We also acknowledge and thank the support of Manawatu District council and The Mainland Foundation in making this event possible.
This is the first time in many years that Mike and Christine Christie haven’t been the main organizers. They left us with an impressive template to continue the event with and we cannot thank them enough for their service to Bike Manawatu. The new team learnt a lot, there is debrief document that has been filled out so we can continue to improve the event..2019 will be even bigger.
In the meantime the board are working with WCNI and other entities further afield to form a racing and events calendar for Bike Manawatu. In the next few months there will be selected Road races run by Bike Manawatu Schools Cycling that will be graded A-D and Bike Manawatu members will be invited to compete against our ever growing pool of talented juniors. It will impress you, inspire you , challenge you and you’ll love it…This starts this Sunday morning. Details below.
I asked David Martin to tell us about how the day was won and what Adam and himself are targeting this year.
You’ve seen it advertised and now it’s just around the corner…Sunday 20th of May.
The 6 Hour has eclipsed 10 years of running and is one of the highlights of the Bike Manawatu calendar. Riders from as far a field as Auckland are travelling to Feilding to take part in to what is for many people their first opportunity to ride a long distance as a bunch ride.At the WCNI road race series last Sunday it was humbling to hear all the riders that had registered and excited about competing in this classic event.
One of the great aspects of the 6 hour is the numerous different facets that is undertaken on the day. From the Male and Female solo divisions to the workplace and “social” team divisions. Some in each category very competitive, others just the achievement of completing the 6 hour challenge.
Without doubt the largest group would be from PNINS. 8 teams of kids and 4 teams of parents…what an outstanding turnout. Many of the year 7 and 8 kids are very green to cycling but in the last few month under the guidance of Tane Humphrey, Steph Harris and their team of parents all the riders are improving out of sight. It will be a tough day for some so when you see them slugging it out, please give them all the encouragement they deserve.
Gates open at 7.30. Track opens at 8.00. Briefing at 8.45, Start time 9.00.
Online etries are closed, but you can enter on the day but please be there early, Volunteers always needed and Welcome.
After Bike Manawatu surged to the lead of the series after our Halcombe Road Race, because of our huge turnout of riders, it was always going to be difficult to hold off Wanganui and New Plymouth for overall honours. 16 BM riders made the small drive to the Brunswick course just north of Wanganui on Sunday 13th. Everyone woke to torrential rain in Palmerston North and with the BM Schools Crit cancelled due to safety it bolstered our numbers, so we were in with a shot. As everyone travelled north west the rain stopped and we were warmly welcomed to Brunswick hall. Wanganui turned up in mass, as did New Plymouth….nothing like waking the Sleeping Giant to get them enthused.
Grades A (4 laps)though to D (1 lap) raced under clear skies that clouded over as the races went on. The wind built as the race went on and punished the unfortunates that fell off the bunches. Awesome course, Fast racing and as tough as you wanted it to be. Club racing really is fantastic…what a blast. Very close to the regional rugby (and other codes) clashes of old, with Club Members wearing their Club kit with pride and forging friendships and alliances with everyone there.
A grade was taken out by Glenn Haden (Wanganui) with BM riders Dylan Simpson and Ethan Craine finishing 4th and 5th respectively. Angus Classen and James Cuff had their own stories to tell, but hey when the winners average speed is close on 40kph it’s no easy in A grade.
B grade was won by Local talent Kyle Hoskin who was racing for his Wanganui club on this occasion. Michael Richmond finished 2nd on the day leading home a bunch sprint but won the B grade overall for the series. Well done Michael…fantastic display of consistent racing over the 3 race series. Elizabeth Stannard raced hard and came home 9th but a result that on paper doesn’t give her credit for her performance only finishing 2 seconds behind Michael. Toshi, Tim and Emily Shearman hung in there with that Power House Steve Stannard putting everyone in the peleton through their paces, putting us to the sword to be fair.
Ben Irvine was our best performer in C grade finishing 2nd to Richard Peters from New Plymouth by a slim margin of 0.6 seconds. Nigel Doyle pressed on to be 6th , 7 seconds back. Great to see Jessica Hamilton competing at interclub level again finishing 13 with Jack Carson pulling out with Man Issues…sorry mate, had to have a go.
The silent assassin Georgia Simpson was the best of D grade coming home 7th only 90 seconds of the lead but first female, top job again Georgia. Our Favourite Gold Sponsor Dave Hoskin beat his lovely Mum Sue Hoskin , on Mothers day of all things too Dave, take a look at yourself. As always Sue had a huge smile on her face with both of them saying more training needed.
At the end of the series. A grade was taken out by yours Truly …Bike Manawatu, B grade Wanganui, C grade Wanganui, D grade Hawera.
How does all this work…pretty easy, Bums on seats, race hard, have a good time.
Our aim next year is to wipe the floor with them…who’s in?
Special thanks to Kyle Hoskin for lending the author his spare pair of riding shoes, they were a bit slow but much appreciated.
With New Plymouth cycling not having a major sponsor this year they are relying on entries to run the event.
Increases in all costs mean that they need 130 entries for this 3 day, 5 stage event on June 2nd to 4th to proceed.
Come on people. Lets support our fellow WCNI club and visit the fantastic Taranaki for the long weekend.
See details below..
Have a great week