The MitoQ K2 Road Cycle Classic is one of the toughest one-day cycling events in the Southern Hemisphere. Covering almost 200 kilometres of asphalt with a screaming 2300 metres of high speed descending (and 2300 metres slow speed climbing) it pushes elite’s, amateurs and New Zealand’s finest weekend warriors to their limit – and beyond.
Starting every year in a different town, Tairua in 2021, cyclists circumnavigate New Zealand’s Coromandel peninsula racing through sub tropical forest, pacific coastlines, rural farmland and up, up, up Whangapoua Hill’s 10% grade.
534 riders signed up for the event with only 406 shivering in the rain at the start of the 19th edition on 10 April. With rain falling and winds blowing at 30kph riders riders feared not the start, but the finish when the worst of the weather was forecast, heavy rain and winds up to 70kph. Some riders in the Open category even started at o-dark-thirty to try and beat the weather.
Pre-race warnings from the organiser stated “There will be no records broken tomorrow, so please do RIDE WITHIN YOUR LIMITS, particularly on descents.“
Ignoring the warning, James Oram, Logan Currie and Hayden Mccormick set out to prove the organiser wrong.
The trio set a new course record of 4:52:08 with Oram outsprinting Currie and Mccormick to take the K2 elite category win. All three riders were credited with the same finish time and averaged an amazing 39.43kph on the 192 kilometre route.
The K2 open category also came down to a 3-up sprint with Cameron Wynniatt earning victory in 5:41:30. Michael Jones was one second behind with Craig Burke crossing the timing strip another second later.
Matilda Lawrence was first in the Women’s K2 open category, with Helen Beattie and Georgina Chadwick earning the next two steps on the podium.
Photos © K2 CYCLE CLASSIC
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