Page wins sprint to take lead in series

Wairarapa News - - SPORT - STAFF RE­PORTER

The Tank Guy/Bike­box team was the win­ner in Sun­day’s race three of the Trust House North Is­land Road Cy­cling Series held in South Wairarapa on a cir­cuit that in­cluded a 2km sec­tion of gravel road.

Be­gin­ning in Mart­in­bor­ough rid­ers headed to­wards Tora in warm, sunny con­di­tions. Ac­tion started very early in the elite grade with Jack Compton (Skoda) the first to make a break­away af­ter 15 kilo­me­tres of rac­ing. At the halfway turn he was al­most a minute in front of the chas­ing bunch of nine rid­ers.

The chasers lad by the Tank Guy/Bike­box team slowly reeled him back near the wind farm and by the time the first rid­ers en­tered the gravel road cir­cuit, Josh Page and Matt Webb-Smith were in the lead with the rest of the bunch in hot pur­suit.

In the end Page won the sprint, giv­ing him 25 points to take the lead in the elite grade. He was thrilled.

‘‘I felt re­ally good out there to­day, I set my goal to win the series. Now that I have taken the lead it may be pos­si­ble to go the whole way, but we also have three rid­ers in the top tree on the gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion and as long as any of us win, it is good for the team.

‘‘To­day’s plan was to ride as a team, con­trol the race and have a go near the end. It worked for us. Me and Matt went away and the rest con­trolled the bunch and the race was over ba­si­cally. I’m look­ing for­ward to next race to the top of Ran­gi­tu­mau Hill in another three weeks,’’ Page said.

In the masters one grade, the ac­tion also started early with Master­ton rider Ben Knight break­ing away.

He man­aged to get over a minute lead but the bunch chased him up the hill near Tora and a group of nine rid­ers went to the turn.

In the end it was a four man sprint with Kennedy tak­ing the race fol­lowed by McGrath and Bale with the main bunch over three min­utes be­hind.

The fourth race of the North Is­land Series will be held on Satur­day, Novem­ber 11 and is the ‘‘Queen Stage’’ of the series with rid­ers fac­ing the first ma­jor hill of the series.

Rid­ers will race from Ran­gi­tu­mau to­wards Al­fred­ton and Ti­raumea via Mau­riceville and Dry­ers Rock be­fore re­turn­ing to the fin­ish at the top of Ran­gi­tu­mau Hill.

Welling­ton’s An­drew Young leads the chas­ing group on the gravel dur­ing race three in the North Is­land Team Cy­cling Road Series

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