Blog: Pedal Power
The Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge isn't really like any other event in New Zealand.
First of all, it feels like the entire town is bursting at the seams with all the visitors. Second, it seems like everyone rides a bike.
This year, there were just more than 8000 people competing in the challenge.
For some who spent the better part of a day riding the 160km to the finish, they still managed a grin, a wave, or a sprint as they crossed the finish line.
It’s almost two weeks since Southland and I’m back on the bike with a new challenge and a new programme.
Next weekend is the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, and thousands and thousands aim to better the time they did the previous year.
Taupo is packed out for the event, virtually every hotel/motel is booked out and, from memory, one of the gas stations last year ran out of petrol.
To say it is popular is an understatement.
For me, it’s back into competition and a terrain that I prefer; undulating roads with a few climbs biffed in for good measure and a longer distance, 160km.
So the final stage has been completed and the Tour of Southland wrapped up.
For me, there were highs and lows.
A highlight was definitely climbing up Blackmount, Bluff and Crown Range. I came in at 30th, with or just on the back of the front groups.
In the stage to Bluff, I was with the second group on the road and climbed well to get 49th.
The lows included getting an injury on stage 6 that stuck with me to the end of the tour and lost me a great deal of time in one day.
On the road: The peloton on their way to Waianiwa. Photo: Fairfax
Yesterday was a bit of chaos in the peleton.
But Team Olphert McKenzie Craik moved up to 8th position on the teams classification. A good day for us.
Cross winds, high speeds and a sprint finish, it was all on at the Tour of Southland’s
first road stage.
I came in at the same time as the main bunch which keeps myself, and most of the
Olphert Mckenzie Craik team, 21 seconds behind the leader.
The day was mostly about keeping safe, avoiding crashes, keeping watered and fed to
set up well for the week of racing.
It was pretty warm, about 16 degrees, so keeping the fluids up was important.
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