Smash­ing a record on the hills Record

Coastal News - - Meads Cup Triumph - By ALI­SON SMITH news@coastal­

Cy­clist Michael Tor­ck­ler flew around the 2300m of climb­ing the penin­sula’s wind­ing roads to smash Jeremy Yates’ decade-long record and take the 17th Flight Cen­tre K2 Road Cy­cle elite ti­tle in 5hrs and 47 sec­onds.

“It was quite a small elite field, which makes the record even more re­mark­able in a way,” says coor­gan­iser Andy Reid. “It un­folded with the first three mak­ing a break away at the Kopu-hikuai hills, and af­ter Whi­tianga, Michael made a break from the other two. He ended up win­ning by 10 min­utes, which is pretty im­pres­sive.”

It is Michael’s third win of the Flight Cen­tre K2. Around a fifth of en­trants were women, and the win­ner of K2, Kirsty Mccal­lum, was 35th over­all with an im­pres­sive time of 5:38.

The K2 Men’s was won by Glen Cara­bine and the women’s K4, Coro­man­del Town’s Joanna Sharpe. A full list of re­sults are on

Andy says the con­di­tions were per­fect for cy­cling with no rain and not too much wind.

Many used the event to fundraise for causes such as can­cer re­search — and there were those whose par­tic­i­pa­tion in­spired oth­ers.

Craig Brant and Wayne An­nam both com­pleted cat­e­gories in the race as heart trans­plant re­cip­i­ents.

Auck­lan­der Wayne, 63, raced the Ni­cholas Browne 50km Chal­lenge on his elec­tric bike just one year af­ter re­ceiv­ing his new heart, but says he was in­spired by fel­low com­peti­tors in events like the K4.

“It was a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence and I’ll be back next year. I thor­oughly en­joyed it…ex­cept for when my bike ran out of charge 200m be­fore the top of the Whangapoua Hill. Luck­ily I could see the top of it when the bike died.”

More than dou­ble the num­ber of com­peti­tors, in­clud­ing a sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian from Palmer­ston North, com­pleted the gru­elling K4, spon­sored by power provider En­ergy Club NZ, and cy­cled through the night to do the 192km course around the Penin­sula twice.

“It’s good for a place like Coro­man­del to bring a bit of vi­brancy A smashed record af­ter 10 years and or­di­nary peo­ple achiev­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary chal­lenges were the high­lights of the 17th Flight Cen­tre K2 Road Cy­cle held around the Coro­man­del on the week­end. The Spirit of Coro­man­del Trust event drew 1050 rid­ers for the 50km Ni­cholas Browne Chal­lenge, the Cervelo K1, the 192km K2 — this year start­ing and fin­ish­ing in Coro­man­del Town — and a gru­elling K4 in which rid­ers started pedalling at 10pm Fri­day and cy­cled the 192km K2 course twice.

A new 70km race, the Dirty K, also took 120 rid­ers over the north­ern Coro­man­del’s gravel roads. and see some of the rock stars of cy­cling,” says co-or­gan­iser Keith Stephen­son of the Spirit of Coro­man­del Trust. “Time and again the K2 has its own peo­ple who like to be part of it — it’s a lit­tle bit more laid back and coun­try style, and I think a big part of that is our vol­lies,” Keith says of the 150 vol­un­teers serv­ing as mar­shalls and drink sta­tion sup­port­ers.

“There’s a lot of places around the course where rid­ers will have these dark mo­ments and it doesn’t mat­ter who you are, they are all go­ing to get one or two dur­ing the day, and that’s what helps — to pull each other along a lit­tle bit.”


Leon Rut­ter­smith of Waihi Beach, at the Flight Cen­tre K2 on Satur­day.

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