Cyclocross Racing Resumes in the Sunny Hawkes Bay
For a lot of people, it was a welcome return to life as normal; back on their bikes, back in touch with friends, and back in the outdoors.Yes there were still 1m distancing signs, and hand sanitiser bottles on the on the registration desks, but it was like a little bit of life as we knew it had returned to the Hawkes Bay.
This was the sight of a crowd of 100 people with bikes lining up in the Hawkes Bay’s Guppy Road Riverside reserve for the start of the 2020 Bay Ford Cyclocross HB series. There was plenty of fun for the whole family, with balance bikes starting off the racing, followed by kids under 10, right through to the adult, including former National Champion Gary Hall.
Cyclocross, a winter sport hugely popular in Europe, is still the odd child of cycling in New Zealand, but is rapidly gaining popularity as a sa fun, form of cycling that the whole family can enjoy.
The Bay Ford series catered for parent assisted balance bikes, before the first race was underway with the Under 7 year olds, followed by the U10, a 20min U15 race and two longer events a 30 min and a 45 min.
The CX30 was closely fought between eventual winner Jason Bye of Havelock North, ahead of Jon Prescott of My Ride hastings and former U23 world road Champion Jeremy Yates. Only 17 second covering all three competitors.
In the womens race Lily Stephens dominated her event, finishing a lap up on Lynne Morgan and Karen Beckman.
The CX45 event was also very tight a bunch of 6 athletes racing together with Hall, National U17 Road Race Champion Charlie Tattersfield, Max Williams, Steve Nicholls, Alex Fiero, and Phil Murphy all together through the early stages of the race, which became a tactical battle as the day progressed It was Nicholls who persevered as the winer on the day, chased home by Hall 2 seconds further back, with newcomer Phil Murphy another 4 seconds behind in 3rd.
The womens 45 was won by Rachael Nicholls, a lap ahead of Sarah Nicol (no relations)
With entries selling out due huge demand paired with the Covid 19 gathering restrictions there was plenty of people who missed out on racing their bikes in the sunshine, but they will be able to enter any of the 5 remaining events in the series, with the second event held at Black Barn Vineyards in 2 weeks, on the 21 June.
For more information go to www.cyclocrosshawkesbay.com