Andy Connelly displayed aggressive solo racing to drop the
bunch for long periods in the last race for 2012 on the
Wingatui circuit on Saturday.
The 48km race was a sealed handicap over eight laps of the
tough Wingatui circuit. The course included two sharp
corners, railway crossings, undulations and a strong westerly
wind, which split the bunch from the outset.
Although Connelly showed guts to jump away, a bunch of four
to five riders was able to shelter and draft to conserve
energy. From this group, Brad Evans crossed the line in a
close sprint, ahead of Chris Harvey, with Connelly a
Connelly, a school teacher and father of two, was pleased
with this effort, despite being hampered in one of his
attacks by the Taieri Gorge Railway train, which slowed his
progress on Factory Rd.
Phil Turnwald showed a good return to form after a back
injury sidelined him for three months, and Glen Todd and Carl
Haddon rode well, despite the torrid pace which eventually
forced them off the back.
Honours in the sealed handicap went to Evans' father, Wayne.
Muir Gold and Daniel Cresswell (fastest junior) took the
Further back, fastest female Elyse Fraser was deserted by
co-riders Chris Henderson, Stu Thomas and Michael Greaves,
and was left to lament what might have been as she battled
the strong wind with John Lynch.
With a third of the entrants not finishing due to punctures
and abandonments, Dwayne Sheddon and Jan Brosnahan teamed up
to finish strongly ahead of back markers Viv Allen-Kelly,
Wayne Green, Bruce Blackburn, Bill Allen and Barry Ellis.
Racing resumes on January 12 but all eyes will be on Greg
Henderson and Reta Trotman as they contest the elite national
road championships in Christchurch from January 11-13.
By Jan Brosnahan.