Gaze, Bond lock horns in summer series Young Bailey shows exceptional form winning B grade race
World-class cyclists Sam Gaze and Hamish Bond were locked in a battle up the home straight in week three of the Spoken Cycles Summer Series run by Te Awamutu Sports Cycling Club.
Gaze pipped Bond for A grade line honours, both credited with 34 minutes 18 seconds for the 26km out and back journey around Mt Kakepuku. Their average speed was 45.48kph.
Olympian Dylan Kennett finished third at 17 seconds, outsprinting the chasing pack of George Jackson, Logan Griffin, Sam Dobbs, Burnie McGrath, Xander White, Sam Cook and Te Awamutu Open winner Alex Heaney who finished in that order.
It has been another magical year for cross country mountain biker Gaze who supports the local club when his commitments end with his Specialized Factory Racing team.
The 23 year old became the first New Zealander to win an elite UCI Mountain Bike World Cup title in March when he claimed the cross country event in the first round of the season in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
The following month he won gold in the cross country event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games held on the Gold Coast in Australia, outsprinting his compatriot and silver place winner Anton Cooper. Griffin leads the A grade summer series with 36 points, from Heaney 29, George Jackson 22, James Harvey 21, Jarred Treymane 20, Kuysten 18, Nathan Bunn 18, Jared Gray 15, Michael Torckler 15, Gaze 15, Xander White 15 and Bond 14.
A bumper field of 183 riders signed on for week three’s races.
The most eye-catching ride was Blake Bailey winning the B1 grade in 38.34. The teenager won by four seconds from Luke Weston, with third placed Ethan Corbett another two seconds after.
Bailey, still eligible for Under 15 competition, is experiencing his first grade racing. It has taken him only three races to upstage his B1 opposition, including the vastly experienced Russell Mudgway and New Zealand representative Ally Wollaston (17) who won a silver medal in the girls’ team pursuit at this year’s UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships in Switzerland.
Coach Brian Fleck was not surprised.
“Blake has been riding away from his under 15 rivals in all his Waikato-Bay of Plenty Centre races and he trains really hard,” said Fleck
Three riders, Blair Taylor, Gary Mikkelsen and Matt Douglas, are on 42 points at the top of the B grade leader board.
Taylor had to settle for fourth, two seconds behind B2 race winner Douglas (38.01) and second placed Mikkelsen, with Ben Hoy third at one second.
Jaxson Russell, another who gets his U17 rider’s license next year, took out the C1 grade race in 40.08. Russell finished one second clear of six riders including second placed Dean Tonks and third placed Maddi Douglas. MacKenzie Macky (41.44), Stephen Fache (41.44) and Graham Bunn (44.45) were first three home in C2 grade.
Leading riders on points in C grade are Russell with 44, Bunn 40 and Fache 39.
Dean Burgess has established a five-point lead in the D grade series after winning the D2 race in 44.37, from Tessa Jenkins (44.38) and Patrick Foley (44.39).
Para cyclist Nicole Murray won the D1 race in 45.28, from Basil Treymane (45.29) and Steve Hoy (45.30). Burgess has 41 points, Treymane 36 and Bruce Carswell 35.
E grade series leader Jack Foley triumphed in week three, winning comfortably in 50.29 from Sarah Russell (51.12), Simon Foy (51.18) and Bruce Mandeno (51.18). Foley has 45 points, Simon Foy 37 and Mandeno 36.
A record 31 riders contested the Under 15 sealed handicap race over the 12.5km out-and-back course to Te Mawhai.
Sam Smyth and James Loughnane made the most of starting off 10.5 minutes, Smyth winning in 26.32 and Loughnane second in 26.40. Third place was Jacob Chetwin off 6.5 minutes in 23.26.
Fastest time of 20.07 went to scratch rider Hamish Banks who crossed in 31st place. Georgia Mitchell and Chetwin jointly lead the U15 series with 23 points, one point clear of Jade Perry.
The annual Club Hill Climb is scheduled for Sunday, November 4 using the notorious Mangakawa hill for this year’s event. The hill climb is a time trial with riders starting at one minute intervals over 4km.
The club’s annual Brendon McGee Memorial Track Carnival is being held at the Avantidrome in Cambridge on Saturday, November 10.
Cambridge High School’s Blake Bailey, winner of Te Awamutu Sports Cycling Club’s B1 grade race last Tuesday.