Bennett splits road title

WINNER: George Bennett
WINNER: George Bennett

George Bennett collected dual titles at the Tasman Wheelers club championships at the weekend, though he had to share the road race crown.

With the championships raced in age groups, Bennett had already claimed Saturday's 40km individual time trial title, contested up and back along Eighty Eight Valley Rd, before becoming locked in a tight battle with Kieran Hambrook in Sunday's road race.

Bennett was fastest over the 40km ITT distance, recording 53min 47sec to finish 1min 17sec ahead of under-23 rider Hambrook. But Bennett couldn't shake off Hambrook on Sunday, the road race held in perfect conditions on a 31km circuit from Wakefield, up Wai-iti Valley Rd and back down Eighty Eight Valley Rd.

The youngest riders completed one lap, the under-19 women, masters women and masters 4-8 men two laps and senior men and women, under-19 men, under-23 men and masters 1-3 men three laps.

Bennett, Hambrook and Henry Jaine broke away in the three-lap race but were pulled back into the bunch on the second lap. However, Bennett and Hambrook broke away again, pushing each other to the limit to finish in a deadheat. Grayson Napier, who was third, also won Saturday's 25km ITT title. Garry Overend won the 15km ITT.

The two-lap road race finish was also close with Grant Stirling outsprinting Ritchie Howes and Eric Wylde for the win.

The senior women's road race resulted in another close finish with Kayley Murdoch just beating Alicja Maslowska.

The Nelson Mail