Page wins sprint to take lead in series
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