Posted by Editoress on 02/10/03
Trust House Tour Final
Yates started the morning with a 6 second lead over Geoff Burndred and 24 seconds on Tim Gudsell. With the first climb just 2km from the start Yates' team mates set a cracking pace to prevent any breaks going clear. This resulted in at least half the field being dropped the first time up the Wallaceville climb. Yates continued to control the race looking at ease each lap up the testing climb.
Kris Gemmel jumped clear on the third lap to take the KOM points and with it the jersey. He rejoined the bunch and it wasn't until the 5th lap that a decisive break went clear as Marc Ryan and Ryan Russell gave it everything. Back in the bunch Gudsell and Burdred were also making their last throw of the dice to see just how strong Yates grip on the yellow jersey was.
Vice like it turns out. As Yates and his team easily countered the moves and brought the race back together for a bunch sprint. However, Anthony Chapman wasn't reading the same script and at the bottom of the twisting descent with 2km to go broke clear and gave it everything he had.
His lead was just 50m coming down the final 800m stretch as behind the seething bunch bore down on him with the line in sight. A last gasp throw of the bike and Chapman was a deserving winner in a style that would have brought a smile to Viatcheslav Ekimov's face. Adam Curry and Canadian Andrew Pinfold filled the minor placings with Matt Yates 5th, good enough for another 2 seconds buffer.
The tour finale was a criterium around a tight fast circuit in Petone. The bunch was strung out from the gun with riders going off the back like lemming's over a cliff.
Richard Bowker was on fire, determined to win the sprint ace jersey in style. After the third sprint the jersey was his to keep but rather than sit in the bunch and savour the achievement he kept on going and took Anthony Chapman and Adam Curry with him, all three riders making a huge impression this week. Yates was happy to see the time bonuses go up the road and with Alisdair Duncan working tirelessly on the front like a metronome they allowed the front group to open up a gap.
Sensing this the lead trio buried it and managed to lap the field. With just 6 laps to go Andy Reid and Marc Mackay broke clear and got a gap on the field, sewing up 4th and 5th places. The main bunch finished with 3 laps to go as is customary when the field is lapped to let the lead trio battle it out for the win.
The last three laps were the slowest of the day as the lead three rode around eying each other. Coming into the final straight Richard Bowker led out and had too much gas coming home ahead of Adam Curry and Anthony Chapman. Andy Reid took the duel for 4th ahead of Marc Mackay.
Despite entering the race as the favourite and being heavily marked throughout Matt Yates endured, riding a smart race and using his strength when it was the most to his advantage. His ride on the hilly 5th stage giving him a deserved victory as the strongest rider in the field.
1. Matthew Yates (Subway) 15:39:01
2. Geoffrey Burndred (Handy Rentals) at 0:06
3. Tim Gudsell (Trust House) 0:24
4. Robin Reid (Marlborough) 1:30
5. Silas Cullen (Counties Manukau CC) 2:45
6. Marc Mackay (Handy Rentals) 2:48
7. Stephen Collins (Trust House) 4:03
8. Roger Gray (Avanti Cycles) 4:08
9. Andy Reid (Marlborough) 4:20
10. Kris Gemmell (BRC Kennermerland) 5:09
11. Peter Latham (Trust House) 5:59
16. Andrew Pinfold (Pack'n Pedal B) 8:56
45. Michael Moore (Pack'n Pedal B) 1:02:09
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