New Zealand cycling great takes the gravel race in Wairarapa

By NZ Cycle Classic

Former Olympian Gary Anderson overcame frosty conditions and a challenging gravel road to win the masters two grade in race three of the Trust House North Island Road Cycling Series held in the Wairarapa today.
Anderson, who has attended four Olympics, won bronze at the 1992 Olympic Games as well as eight medals at the Commonwealth Games, proved his class by winning the race almost two minutes ahead of the chasing bunch. Anderson shook off the chilly conditions that greeted riders on the outskirts of Carterton this morning and took control of the 17km circuit which included 1.1km of gravel road each lap. After breaking away from the 70 man bunch with two laps of the circuit to go, Anderson who is riding for the Velo Ronny's Trek cycling team, crossed the line on his own.
In the Trust House elite race, Wellington rider David Rowlands overcame a mechanical set back early in the race to take the win, followed by young Chris Denholm from Palmerston North who is a member of the highly rated Skoda Team second and current series leader Dave Weaver from the Wheelworks team third.
Rowlands, riding for Phiten – Breadcraft team, suffered a mechanical the first time he road over the gravel section but after getting a new wheel he chased the group and was quickly back in the bunch.  With two laps to go, the three riders broke away from the main bunch, and they battled it to the finish. Denholm is the new Mitre 10 Masterton under 23 leader.
In the Mitre 10 Mega Masterton sponsored Masters One race, a small group of seven riders went away after two laps of racing and managed to get up to almost two minutes lead on the chasing bunch. But with one lap to go, the hill climb and gravel road section was too much for some of the riders.   Stephen Sheldrake and Craig Hosking from Champion System ECV, Jason McCarthy from Fitlab team and Masterton’s Ben Knight from Tararua Builders managed to break clear.  Sheldrake won this grade followed by his team mate Craig Hosking with McCarthy coming in third place.  Race leader John Randal missed the break and finished in 9th place but still retain his lead in the series.
Race director Jorge Sandoval said riders in every grade had to fight hard over the gravel section with most bunches remaining intact after the first lap. Mr Sandoval congratulated all riders saying it was a hard day’s racing.
The fourth race of the North Island Series will be on Saturday, November 12th November with riders facing the first major hill of the series. Riders will race from Gladstone and only after 6km will have to guts it out up Te Wharau hill, which has proven to be a nightmare for many international riders competing in the UCI 2.2 New Zealand Cycle Classic held previously on the same circuit. From there they face Limeworks hill on their way to a hill-top finish on the gruelling Admiral hill.


Race three results – Trust House North Island Team Series
Elite grade
1st           David Rowlands – Phiten- Breadcraft – Cottage Lane
2nd          Chris Denholm – Team Skoda
3rd           Dave Weaver – Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels
Leader after race 3:         Dave Weaver - Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels
Leader Under 23:             Chris Denholm - Team Skoda
Masters One
1st           Stephen Sheldrake – Champion System ECV
2nd          Craig Hoskin – Champion System ECV
3rd           Jason McCarthy – Fitlab
Leader after race 3:         John Randall – Roadworks Reparto Corse
Masters Two
1st           Gary Anderson – Velo Ronny’s Trek
2nd          Huib Buyck – Total Home Theatre
3rd           Kerrin Alwood – PNP Masters
Leader after race 3:         Kerrin Alwood.
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