Today was the Hamilton round of the New Zealand Cyclocross championship put on by the Hamilton Mountain Bike Club. There was a diverse range of cyclists participating today from some elite road and mountain bikers to first time racers and the course was ideally suited to all riders’ abilities. That’s one of the great things about cyclocross; it’s more about stamina and fitness than your skill level as a rider.
Conditions today were just about perfect for a cyclocross race. The tracks were still a little wet ensuring that the riders stayed on their toes in the corners, but not so wet that they couldn’t get any traction at all. From the starting gun the favourites quickly pulled away to an early lead and basically were racing against themselves. Dan Warren, the series leader, was put under the gun by Garry Hall with Sheldon Gorter using his local knowledge of the tracks to help him stay in touch with the other two.
There were a few spills along the way and one of the other race favourites had a mechanical fairly early that altered some of the tactics among the frontrunners. By the third lap, most of the riders had settled down and got the tricky corners and treacherous bits dialled in. By the last lap, Garry Hall had gotten a sizeable lead and just as he was about to start his last lap when he had to stop to fix a puncture. Dan Warren was too far behind to take advantage and Garry Hall won by a minute twenty with Sheldon Gorter coming in 45 seconds behind Dan. There were also a few women racing today and Haley Davis won the women’s race and became the series leader with her win.