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A strong field of 41 lined up for the Cycling Otago Hastie Memorial on Saturday in a race in which the wind had a big say.
With limited racing this season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, riders were in good spirits as the seven bunches left Millers Flat in sunshine for their 120km journey to the finish at East Taieri. The race is run on a handicap system.
The scratch group of four, starting at 66 minutes, was cut to two riders in the opening 30km. Ioan Fuller and Kees Duyvesteyn were working well until Round Hill, south of Lawrence, where Duyvesteyn attacked, opening a 10m gap over the top. Fuller buried himself on the descent and for the ensuing minutes, initially closing some metres, and then holding.
With Duyvesteyn in full attack mode, eventually the gap extended and he continued his pursuit, blowing through dropped riders and joining the merged break (at 60 minutes) and second break (54 minutes) group by the Manuka Gorge.
As the remaining field turned north the northeast wind was punishing.
Surging attacks, the killer head wind, and fatiguing legs blew apart the remaining groups on State Highway One.
The last decisive attack came on the rise out of Waihola and the group of Duyvesteyn, Hunter Gough, Cathal Guiney, Myles Gibson, and Chris Harvey became the riders to fight it out.
On the second rise on Gladstone Rd South, Gough kicked hard for the win and was the fastest under-19 rider with the remaining quartet close behind.
Gibson was second, backing up from his recent win in the Twizel to Timaru handicap, and Cathal Guiney was third.
Duyvesteyn was fourth and posted an impressive fastest time of 2hr 52min 33sec.
Harvey took fastest veteran male 50+ in 3hr 4min 42sec finishing in fifth place. Ray Dunstan was fastest veteran male 60+ in ninth place with a time 3hr 24min 50sec.
Fastest female and vet 40+ was Doreen Lembke in a time of 3hr 50min 2sec. The fastest vet female 60+ was Jan Brosnahan.