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Cycle race attracts biggest field ever

Thursday 6 May 2010 | Published in Regional

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Tuesday night’s annual TurtlesTees Sportswear round the island cycle race saw the largest field ever enter the event 87 riders lined up with 80 recorded as finishing.

Unlike some earlier years, a small breakaway at the beginning did not occur and 20 or so cyclists were still in the lead bunch just a few hundred metres behind Shaun Kavanagh who lead the race on his own for many kilometres with up to a half kilometre lead.

However, from the Met Station at Nikao with only 4km to ride, the brave effort by Kavanagh came to an end as he was reeled in by bunch leaders Josh White and Geoff Stoddart.

Along the Nikao straight he was caught and passed just before the final sprint began near CITC supermarket.

Geoff Stoddart lead the surge around Punanga Nui with several riders tucked in behind, however, he was pipped at the line by half a wheel length by Justin Earl of New Zealand who achieved his first high placing in this race in his three visits here.

The winning time was 45 minutes and 41 seconds.

Third was Rarotonga’s Richard Vinsen who rode a superb race to never be far from the front.

In fourth place was Roland Neururer and fifth Tony Harding from NZ.

First female was Cathy McManus followed by Michelle Bremer and Jennie George who were all part of the lead bunch and achieved times of less than 46 minutes.

In winning Cathy lowered the female race record by 11 seconds to 45:44.

First Australian home was Arama Tom.

First mountain biker was Dominic Tobek and merit prizes for effort expended in the race went to Josh White and Shaun Kavanagh.

The timekeepers acknowledged that some errors or omissions may have occurred with such a large field and close finishing. But the major place getters are all correct.

The Triathlon Association extends its thanks to TurtlesTees Sportswear for sponsoring the winners and place getters cycle shirts and providing a handsome new trophy for the event.

Thanks also go out to the timekeepers Rebecca, Terai, Karlene, Liz, Sharon, Chris and Len with special mention to Cook Islands Police for providing the motorcycle escort to assist safety. Meitaki maata.