Across the finish line

ANDY MACKAY
Last updated 15:03 08/11/2012

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.

Andy Mackay rides the Tour of SouthlandIn 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.  

I had been sitting in the top 40 on the general classification.  But by the end of stage 6 I was doing the final 15km using mostly just my right leg.

It hadn't got much bettter by the time trial, and was worse for the final stage, and I left the tour thinking what could have been.

On teams classification we came in at 13th, which was an good result considering the depth of the field, and the fact the team was assembled quite late.

The tour for the Olphert McKenzie Craik team (Brad, Travis, Kyle, Tim, Scott and I) was made easy by the support we had, including mechanic and strategist, Wayne (Wayno) Evans.

He would often be seen late into the night making adjustments to our bikes, attaching tyres to rims, changing cassettes.  

Then there was Adair who did everything from cooking dinner and making lunches, to massages and washing our cycling kit.

Darryl helped us out with sponsorship and drove the vehicle, and Darren who was an all-round handy guy.

At the end of the day it was a fun tour, and a great way to build form before the domestic season.

Next on the cards is the Rice Mountain Classic in early December where I'll be aiming for a good result.

- Upper Hutt Leader

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