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Congratulations to Flight Centre K2 racers

Congratulations to Flight Centre K2 racers

Weather conditions were just a few drops of rain away from being perfect for the Flight Centre K2 on Saturday when more than 1000 athletes converged on the Coromandel’s roads and departed tired but happy.

The Flight Centre K2 is renowned as the toughest one-day ride in the country. Cyclists in the K2 must slog through vertical climbing of 2,300m throughout the course.

Some 1050 competitors took part in the Flight Centre K2 – which includes options for a 192km ride around the Coromandel Peninsula, the Cervelo K1 which covers half that distance, and the 50km Nicholas Brown Challenge.

Each distance starts at a different town on the Coromandel Peninsula, with all races finishing in Whitianga this year. The Cervelo K1 race started in Thames and the Nicholas Browne Challenge started in Tairua.

"Again another well-run event by the ARC organisers, including Keith and Rita Stephenson and Andy Reid," says Sandra Goudie, Thames-Coromandel District Mayor. "Also a huge thanks to all the volunteers, emergency service workers and everyone who came out in support on the day."

Co-organiser Keith Stephenson says the event was a huge success with only one minor crash by event favourite Hamish Bond in an otherwise seamless day. “There was rain but it didn’t bother the competitors, the main thing was that we had no wind – and as a result the times were very close to the record,” says Keith.

“There was some very exciting racing and some great times. The Flight Centre K2 women’s champion Kate McIlroy had a phenomenal race – she was just three seconds off the K2 winner Mel Titter. It was very exciting at the finish line.”

He thanked our Council for its support of the event, which is now in its 16th year.

The Elite Men’s K2 event was won by Sam Horgan in 5 hours, 5 minutes and 27 seconds followed by Bryn Thorne-George – a former Tairua local who finished in 2nd after just one year of racing – followed by Karl Poole

Kate McIlroy won ahead of Carol McCallum from Hawkes Bay in 2nd and Amanda Till in 3rd. Teresa Adam won the Women’s Elite K1 in 2hrs 39 14, Deborah Paine 2nd and Grace Anderson 3rd.

For Elite men’s winner Sam Horgan, it was all about taking friend Nick Lovegrove’s advice to smash it up the first big hill at Whangapoua. “It was a super tough day out there, and a really great race to experience. That climb over the hill to Coromandel Town definitely wasn’t much fun.”

On the Nicholas Browne Challenge, Andy Corles of rural Whangapoua was followed by television news cameras as he courageously pushed his way up and down the hills to complete the course in a time of 5 hours 27 minutes and 28 seconds.

He had some very special supporters on hand with his wife Shelly and daughter Maddie at the finish line along with other friends and family, and the man who attended him at the scene of his car accident in 2014 – Chris Deacon.

Chris is an intensive care paramedic with the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust. “Andy’s journey started back at the accident and continues today,” said Chris. “He committed to the K2 back then - it was a goal he set from very early on in hospital – and I think Andy is absolutely an incredible inspiration.”
Photo: (below) Andy at the finish line of the Flight Centre K2 in Whitianga.

Flight Centre K2 Elite Men’s Elite
1 – Sam Horgan 5hr 05 27
2 – Bryn Thorne-George 5hr 12 28
3 – Karl Poole 5hr 12 28
Flight Centre K2 Men
1 – Jack Mcneely 5hr 31 23
2 – Mel Titter 5hr 31 23
3 – Alex Nisbet 5hr 31 23

Flight Centre K2 Women
1 – Kate McIlroy
2 – Carol McCallum
3 – Amanda Till
Cervelo K1 Elite Men
1 – Fergus Hamilton 2hr 28 49
2 – Shaun Williams
3 – Jack Edwards
Cervelo K1 Elite Women
1 – Teresa Adam 2hr 39 14
2 – Deborah Paine
3 - Grace Anderson
Nicholas Brown Challenge
1 – Harry Lockhead
2 – Ketzal Seirling
3 – Kalib Patterson

© Scoop Media

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