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Paul Madden grabs Race to Enlightenment 2017

posted 12 May 2017, 23:14 by HK Dragons Triathlon Club   [ updated 16 May 2017, 11:48 ]
In one of the toughest fields ever gathered, it would take a special race to win this year's 6th edition of the Dragons Race to Enlightenment, and Paul Madden (Hong Kong Pistons) did not disappoint. Lined up under overcast conditions, with the threat of rain (which thankfully did not appear) was a formidable field including a late surprise entrant from New Zealand Jack Carruthers (CCN Foil), Kris Guns (Hong Kong Dragons), defending 2016 champion Marcel Guethoff (Beyond the Line), and of course the dynamic duo Batman (aka James King of SIRs) and Robin (aka Paul Redmayne Mourad of Hong Kong Dragons). 

There were others also threatening to make an impact include HK cycling veteran Ed Cluer (Colossi) - a very welcome blast from the past - Aron Akesson (making a moonlight appearance representing Sverige), Henrik 'the Hammer' Pederson (Hong Kong Dragons) and Jon Colbaer (SIRs).

In contrast to previous years, this time there was no hanging about, and as soon as the peloton hit Tung Chung Road, the pace picked up with riders contending for position before the Beast climb. The pace was high even as the peloton climbed onto the Beast, and a strong but large front group emerged containing Madden, Carruthers, Guns, Batman, Robin, Guethoff, Colbaer, Cluer, Craig Wilkeson (Lantau Buffaloes) and Pederson.

As the Beast steepened (2.5km at average 10%), it started sorting out the men from the boys. Colbaer was the first to lose the wheel, before Pederson also succumbed. One by one, the Beast started opening gaps between the riders (it also helped that HK's helpful constabulary were also on hand to deter non-permit holders heading to South Lantau,  and at the start drove past us with megaphone blaring requesting us to keep single file)!

At the top of the Beast, the race positions were getting sorted, with a clear group of three riders emerging, containing Madden, Guns and Carruthers with the rest of the peloton in hot pursuit. The dry conditions allowed for some high speeds down from the other side of the Beast but the rolling section before the reservoir did not see much change in position. It would be left - as it always is - to the final climb to the Buddha. Of course on the way, we all had to negotiate traffic lights and roadworks, while trying to keep the crank turning at a 7% gradient, but at Tai O corner, Guns, Carruthers and Madden were still ahead of the field, and clearly eyeing each other, As the final ramp to Buddha emerged, Madden and Carruthers had put a little distance between themselves and Guns, but it was left to Madden - 200m from the top - to put the hammer down, cresting the top at just 8 seconds in front of Carruthers, and becoming this year's deserved winner, with the fastest time ever recorded during the race, and leaving him second overall on the segment behind the formidable Olaf Kasten.

Full listings below, and the segment times are here:

All times are taken from Strava. 

1. Paul 'Goldilocks' Madden - Hong Kong Pistons (love those helmet straps 'pigtails' in the picture Paul) 51 minutes 10 seconds
2. Jack Carruthers - CCN Foil (still a teenager!!) 51.18
3. Kris Guns - Hong Kong Dragons 51.31
4. Marcel Guethoff - Beyond the Line and 2016 defending champion 53.13
5. James 'Batman' King - SIRs 56.36
6. Craig Wilkeson - Lantau Buffalos (no time recorded on Strava)
7. Paul 'Robin' Redmayne Mourad - HK Dragons 56.57
8. Ed Cluer - Colossi 58.26
9. Jon Colbaer - SIRs 58.32
10. Sheel Kohli - HK Dragons 1.03.21
11. Daniel Betteridge - HK Pistons 1.04.26
12. Paul 'Boomer' McMahon - HK Dragons 1.08.25
13. Cora Van Laer - HK Dragons  & FIRST WOMAN HOME 1.09.18
14. Dave 'Gibbo' Gibb - HK Dragons 1.13.05
15. Chris 'Gunnzy' Gunns - HK Dragons 1.13.26
16. Christina Hudson - HK Dragons (no time recorded on Strava)
17. Matthew Laight - HK Dragons 1.13.53
18. Robert Kushner - HK Dragons 1.14.50
19. Gareth Hirst - HK Dragons 1.19.22
20. Ben 'Weekend Vice' McCarthy - HK Dragons (no time recorded on Strava)
21. Aron Akesson - Sverige   (no time recorded on Strava)
HK Dragons Triathlon Club,
12 May 2017, 23:14