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The newly named bioSPORT City Criterium Series kicked off on Thursday night at the Tank Farm in Auckland’s Viaduct, with 102 riders competing in the first of six races. With a newly introduced C Grade the Crits now caters for a full range of riders, and it was good to see 35 entrants in the very first C Grade race. At the other end of the spectrum, A Grade continues to attract some of Auckland’s best riders, and it was particularly encouraging to see some teams lining up, including Bici Vida, Subway (including Subway newcomer Nick Lovegrove) and the Kiwi Velo development squad.
Bici Vida controlled the A Grade race from the beginning with four riders working the pack hard and fast. Colin Cornberg and Roman Van Uden held tempo into the last corner allowing Mike Northey to take the line. Northey also won four of the five sprints.
Coming out of the last hairpin, longtime crit regular Karl Murray was lining up for a podium finish but then found himself with both feet parting company from his pedals, ending his hopes and causing some bunch chaos behind. National Elite Time Trial champion Gordon McCauley (Subway) took second place with Alex Ray (Bici Vida) right on his wheel.
The young team from Auckland Grammar gave an impressive performance, proving that school racing is a great source of bench strength for New Zealand’s cycling.
Gayle Brownlee was in great form, taking out the women’s race, followed by Kate Chilcott and Emma Crum second and third respectively. We look forward to seeing more girls on the start line in the following weeks.
B Grade saw some fierce competition with a number of riders taking turns on the front. Jason Waterhouse found himself “in the right place at the right time” finding the legs to attack the bunch on the back straight into the headwind, eventually crossing the line ahead of Mason Spiers and Eddie Rosser. Waterhouse also won two of the sprint laps.
C Grade provides the opportunity for novice racers to get out and have a go at criterium racing. Organisers were particularly encouraged by the number of women taking part this week and look forward to more beginners testing their legs next week.
Thanks to all riders, but in particular Lynton Chitty who came up from Hamilton, arriving ten minutes before the start-time, competed and then headed straight off to the ACDC concert – what a legend.
Race organiser and bioSPORT founder Greg Pain, was pleased with the turnout and the quality of racing, in particular the more tactical riding employed by the teams. “There was some very strategic riding on the course tonight with the professional teams having to withstand some gutsy challenges from the strong local riding contingent who know this course extremely well.”
Congratulations and thanks to all riders and spectators for coming down to the Tank Farm. Spread the word and look out for more action next Thursday night.
Results: bioSPORT City Criterium Series Race 1 - Thursday 4th February 2010
1. Mike Northey (Bici Vida)
2. Gordon McCauley (Subway Avanti)
3. Alex Ray (Bici Vida)
1. Jason Waterhouse
2. Mason Spiers
3. Eddie Rosser
1. Gayle Brownlee
2. Kate Chilcott
3. Emma Crum
1. Sam Brothers
2. Dan Gerous
3. Dan Pavis
bioSPORT would like to thank our sponsors and supporters:
Air New Zealand, Allpress Espresso, Cibo Restaurant, cyclingnzshop.com, Grace Lang Optometry, Hammer Nutrition, Sanctuary Developments and the Six:30 bunch.
Photography by Pete Bruggeman. To view pictures of race one go to http://www.pbase.com/bruggersphotography
Series dates: Thursdays: 4th Feb, 11th Feb, 18th Feb, 25th Feb, 4th Mar, 11th Mar (rain day)
Grand final and prize giving: Saturday: 25th Mar - to be confirmed.
Event Organiser: Greg Pain, bioSPORT
Race Director: Troy Campbell, Epic Sports
bioSPORT is a biomechanical training and physiotherapy studio in Auckland’s CBD. bioSPORT specialises in injury prevention, performance enhancement and rehabilitation for cycling, running, multi sport, triathlon, swimming, golf and tennis. www.biosport.co.nz