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Kleinwort seizes victory with solo move in Dragons Race to Enlightenment

posted 29 Mar 2015, 08:26 by HK Dragons Triathlon Club

Michael Kleinwort (B4H) picked his moment perfectly and soloed to victory in the 2015 Dragons Race to Enlightenment.  After withstanding the early attacks, Kleinwort conserved his energy and used a perfectly timed attack of his own to go clear on the  penultimate climb up Tai O road and was able to hold off the remaining chasers on the final climb up to the Big Buddha to solo to victory. 

This year’s race started with a neutralized section due to road works on the course, however, Camel Dyrk (Project852) had other ideas and immediately went on the attack!.   Eventually Dyrk (who would later retire from the race) was caught by the peleton, and then it was James Moffat (B4H) who next made a strong move breaking clear on the rolling section out towards Shek Pik reservoir, only to be chased down by his own team mate Rustam Davar (B4H) in a scene reminiscent of Etixx-QuickStep vs Ian Stannard at the recent 2015 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race!.

The race was together again and it was not until Shek Pik reservoir that the race ignited on the first big climb up South Lantau road.  Clinton Leong (Dragons/Project852) started to lift the tempo up the first climb, only to have an untimely dropped chain derail the momentum.  The peleton sportingly sat up to allow Leong to rejoin the group, however once he regained contact he immediately went off the front and opened up a sizeable gap on the peleton (Leong would later say that it was not an intentional attack but he must have gotten a little carried away with the adrenaline of chasing back to the group!).  

The peleton responded and caught Leong and then it was Steve Drake (SIRS) who seized control of the race moving to the front and setting a viscous tempo up the climb that forced the critical selection, resulting in a group of 4 riders led by Drake  to crest the first big climb and commence the descent to Tai O (Drake, Leong, Moffat and Kleinwort).

Behind, Davar, Anthony Arthur (Project852) and Tina Gilbert (Project852) regrouped to form the main chase group, with Jeffrey Wei (Tritons), Wai Kin, Gareth Hirst (Dragons/Project852), Phil Gann (Dragons) and Mary Ho (Dragons/Project852) a little further back in the main pack.

Out front, Moffat went on the attack on the fast and technical descent towards Tai O and put on a descending master class to open up a large gap, however unexpected roadworks and a herd of cows on the road helped to nullify his advantage, and as they commenced the final climb up Tai O road and to the finish line at the Big Buddha, the front group of Moffat, Leong, Drake and Kleinwort were together again.  

Leong took up the pace setting duties with a hard but steady tempo up the penultimate Tai O climb.  About 2/3rds of the way up Drake and Kleinwort moved to the front, with the latter putting in a hard and sustained attack that seemed to surprise the group and did not draw an immediate response.  The momentary hesitation suddenly resulted in Kleinwort opening up a large gap, and eventually it was Leong who was first to respond and set off after Kleinwort, with Moffat and Drake in close pursuit.  

Starting the final steep climb to the finish line at the Big Buddha, Kleinwort had opened up a seemingly insurmountable lead over Leong, who himself was starting to be reeled in by a hard charging Moffat, and Drake a little further behind.  Half way up the Big Buddha climb Kleinwort started to show signs of weakness (well at least according to Leong!), and Leong suddenly found a second wind and started to close in fast on Kleinwort.  However Kleinwort dug deep and in the end took a comfortable win in a total time of 55:05, 25s ahead of Leong in second place, who himself was able to hold off Moffat a further 52s behind in third place, followed by Drake in fourth.   

Tina Gilbert was our first placed womens rider, finishing a very impressive 6th place overall.

Congratulations to 2015 mens champion Michael Kleinwort (B4H), and our 2015 Womens Champion Tina Gilbert (Project852) on their outstanding victories, and thanks and well done to all that participated in the race.

See you next year!.

 Dragons Race to Enlightenment

Saturday 28th March (2015)

Distance: 22km

  1. Michael Kleinwort (B4H)
  2. Clinton Leong (Dragons/Project852)
  3. James Moffat (B4H)
  4. Steven Drake (SIRS)
  5. Rustam Davar (B4H)
  6. Tina Gilbert (Project852)
  7. Anthony Arthur (Project852)
  8. Wai Kin
  9. Jeffrey Wei (Tritons)
  10. Gareth Hirst (Dragons/Project852)
  11. Phil Gann (Dragons)
  12. Mary Ho (Dragons/Project852)
  13. Camel Dyrk (Project852) - DNF