Cooper claims classic honours

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 05:00 17/02/2014

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Sequoia Cooper claimed line honours in the Gore to Waikiwi Classic road race on Saturday.

Forty-nine riders lined up in calm, dry conditions for the race in Gore, but were soon met with drizzle and a strong headwind just down the road in Mataura.

Supported by long-time sponsors George Wilson and Sons, the 78km handicap race included a strong scratch group of Cam Karwowski, Luke Macpherson, Rob Huisman, Josh Haggery and Nick Kergozou which had a 35-minute gap on the limit bunch.

The course turned right just after Mataura on to the Glencoe Highway, then headed to Spring Hills, Rakahouka, Grove Bush, Lorneville Dacre Highway, Mill Road, and then McIvor Road, finishing just outside Anderson Park.

A strong third break bunch caught all the front markers, and held off second break, break and scratch to take the spoils.

Gabby Vermunt attacked coming into McIvor Road, only getting caught with a couple of hundred metres to go, before Cooper was at the front of the bunch kick.

The junior (U17 and below) division 1 and 2 riders started at Hedgehope, and also rode a handicap race over 40km.

The back markers cleared their way through the field, under-15 rider Hamish Keast the only one able to hang on. It was impossible to separate Hayden Strong and Tom Sexton at the finish.

They were given first equal, with Brayden Stephens close behind for third and Hamish Keast fourth.

Division 3 started at Rakahouka Church over 20km. Madeline Gough won from younger brother Hunter, with Hamish Turnbull third.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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