Whoever have the best climbing legs could prove the difference in Sunday second race of the Trust House Teams Series.
Dubbed as a “hard” race by event organiser Jorge Sandoval, the race from Alfredton to Pongaroa and Waione and feature several hill climbs, including a brutal climb in the first few kilometres.
Sandoval explained that the course has never been used for the series before, and teams spent last weekend on reconnaissance.
“We had teams from Wellington, Palmerston North and Masterton checking out the circuit, and a few of them have come back to me saying how hard it is” he said.
“I think some of them will find it hard to go to sleep on Saturday night - the race promises to get many riders into the unknown”.
The category one and two riders will cover 120km, but the demanding nature of the course led Sandoval changing the distance for the lower grades riders.
“In categories 3 and 4 the riders were supposed to do 86km, but I went to check the circuit last Friday and realised the route is really severe, so I decide to cut the distance to 70km.
“Race two will be really hard, and it’s the one everyone has been waiting for. I won’t be surprised if we get new leaders in some categories after this race”
One riders Sandoval expects to be among the frontrunners is 15 year old Jackson Fellows, from the Pahiatua-based Madison Cycle Clothing NZ team, who shocked the more experience riders to take line honours in the first race three weeks ago.
“I asked him after race one how he goes up hills, and he said he love hills. He’s a very good riders for his young age. He’s done really well, and I think he’ll be right up there.”
Sandoval also predicts strong showings in categories three and four from the two Wairarapa based Tararua Builders teams, who have been training on the circuit over the past couple of weeks.
After cancelling the race last year because of poor weather, the forecast is looking good for Sunday’s race.
This year’s series has attracted 22 teams with riders from Manawatu, Wellington and Wairarapa.
With Covid-19 restrictions currently in place under Alert Level 2, Jorge has implemented several measures based on advice from Cycling New Zealand.
These measures include all riders and officials needing to sign in for contact tracing purposes and adhere to good hygiene practises (including mask wear while not racing) and staying home if they are sick. Non-essential supporters and other spectators to also asked to stay at home.
In addition each grade category will be raced separately with separate facilities. At the conclusion of the race, riders will need to return home and forgo any prize giving. If, at the conclusion of the five race series, the region is in Alert Level 1, Jorge will look at hosting a final series prize giving.
“In race one we worked hard to ensure all riders, officials and team managers comply with our voluntary code for the event, and everything went really well.” Sandoval said.
“For race two, we once again have communicated this with all our riders, so they understand what responsibilities they have to ensure we race while following best practise to allow us to continue to deliver events during changing alert Levels.”
Current leaders in each category after race one are:
Category One: George Jackson - NZ Cycling Project – Leading team – NZ Cycling Project
Category Two: Caleb Bottcher - West Coast North Island Road Racing - Leading Team: West Coast N I
Category Three: Jackson Fellows - Madison Cycle Clothing NZ - Leading Team: Madison Cycle Clothing NZ
Category Four: Chris Sharrott - Kapiti Cycling Club - Leading Team: Kapiti Cycling Club
For more information please contact: Jorge Sandoval, 0274464300