Thursday, January 26, 2012

NZ Cycle Classic – Stage One

Yesterday was a day of admin for the team arriving into Palmerston North early afternoon in time to collect riders from the airport and get settled in for the week – There was only one minor hiccup with Australian rider Mitch Lovelock – Fay’s bike not making the flight from Wellington to Palmerston North but thankfully it later arrived on a courier who drove it up from Wellington so it would be here for the morning.

The NZ Cycle Classic ( Tour of Manawatu ) kicked off today with the Prologue ( Individual Time Trial ) which was in the afternoon however it was still an early morning start for the team to make sure everything was in order to run smoothly for the Tour and to also pick up the last rider to arrive this morning Andy Bajic.

Palmerston North turned on a scorcher of a day for the Ricoh Team to get the tour underway on the 7.1km course that started with a circuit of Massey University before heading out to continue the loop on the main road taking in a few small rolling hills and a descent with a sharp turn to come into the finishing straight – It was clear from the start it was going to be a fast course and could be anyone’s race to win

First Ricoh rider to head out on the course was Andy Bajic from Slovenia ( he has been racing here in NZ for the last 3 months ) followed by the 20 year old Mitchell Lovelock – Fay from Australia, Darren Rolfe ( Aus ), Matthew Marshall ( NZ ) with Joseph Cooper the last of the Ricoh riders to head out on course.

Early on a fast time was posted by Michael Vink ( NZ U23 Champ ) which gave the riders something to chase – 9.29 after the first four riders on our team headed out we knew it was up to Joe to see how close he could come to this mark  - And that he did

When Joseph crossed the line he was given a time of 9.29.9 – there was one rider who had ridden a 9.28 to take first and 6 riders all on 9.29 within hundreds of a second of each other – Once results were finalised Joseph’s time was amended to 9.0 which put him in 7th place 2 sec off the leader and 1 sec off 5 riders who remained on the 9.29 mark. It was fair to say that this was one of the closer results we had seen and will make for an interesting weeks racing!

We are looking forward to tomorrows race which kicks off at 10am taking in 143.4km – it should be a good day out!

Also thanks to the guys from the Ricoh office here in Palmerston North who came out to watch the boys today

Team Ricoh riders results on

Winners time – 9.28

Joseph Cooper – @2” sec (off lead )
Darren Rolf @20”
Mitchel Lovelock – Fay @21”
Andy Bajic @47”
Matthew Marshall @54”

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