Ex-manager swaps side of fence to do first tour
Tour of Southland
Rod Carpinter is experiencing the Tour of Southland from the other side of the fence.
The Morrinsville-based police manager, who has been cycling for 25 years, became a familiar face on the Tour of Southland when he managed The Southland Times team for eight consecutive years until 2004, including three victories.
This week the enthusiastic amateur rider is part of the peloton rather than a puppetmaster in a team van.
"I didn't want to get to 50 and say ‘I wished I'd done that'. It's something I've always wanted to do," Carpinter said.
"To me it's the premier race in New Zealand and it's something I feel I need to achieve - and I will achieve."
The Southern Institute of Technology team member aims to make it to the race end in Invercargill's Gala St on Saturday.
He won a national title in the time trial in the veteran 3 category this year, and was fourth in the road race, and has taken the past five weeks off to focus solely on training for his Southland debut.
With plenty of knowledge about the race safely stored under his helmet, Carpinter has a clear plan for how to ride over the next week.
"Be smart, ride smart, be in the correct place. It's all about looking after yourself - there's a quality field here, which is really good,," he said.
Another choosing to make a late appearance in the PowerNet-sponsored tour is Invercargill triathlete Lee Moreton.
"I've always looked at this race and wondered what it would be like to ride it, but at 41 I'm probably one of the older debutantes," The Southland Times team member said.
Moreton is 85th at the halfway stage of the tour, just over 20 mins behind leader Mike Northey, while Carpinter is 111th.
- © Fairfax NZ News