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Wednesday 9 June 2010 | Published in Regional


The Kumete Sports cycle race on Saturday drew 22 riders for the annual round island race for village pride.

Racers turned up on bikes of all makes and models, shapes and sizes for the race with all in high spirits before the start of the bike race.

The recent week’s email debate of what type of ‘wheels’ were to be used for the race was still the talking point at the start of the bike race.

Competitors such as Kelly Pick and Lotu Vea decided to race the round island circuit on their mountain bikes while Hash master Andy ‘Slacker’ Olah rolled up on his ‘Tekake special’ wheels grease and all!

In fact, Olah’s wheels were the most admired on the day.

He bought them in 1978 from Beco’s, the only place at the time to acquire a bicycle in either black or green.

Olah calls his ride the ‘Tekake special’ because the late Tekake Williams had a similar bike which he would ride to the harbour on most days.

He lined up his black beast along some of the flashest wheels on the island for the round island cycle race – but he only managed a loop of Avarua thanks to a hand injury.

But first across the finish line was Geoff Stoddart of Te Au O Tonga on his specialised wheels winning the race in a time of 50.14.

Rob Buick (Arorangi) and Richard Barltrop (Takitumu) shared second place with a time of 50.36 while Phil Washbourne took out third in the men’s division in a time of 50.47.

Richard Vinsen was lucky he didn’t race on his best bike after two spectacular crashes during the race.

In the women’s race Vanessa Palmer edged ahead of Jennie George to win the race for Te Au O Tonga in a time of 50.39 with George taking second place 2 seconds later for Arorangi.

Third went to vaka Takitumu maiden Rangi Apera in a time of 50.47.

Racers earned points for their overall Kumete sports village scores.

More photos page 10