Smashing a record on the hills Record
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 www.arcevents.co.nz
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.