>> Thursday, December 4, 2008
* MTB SPD's shoes/cleats (Sprigs still in with mud attached)
* Karapoti cycle jersey
* Long fingered MTB gloves
Right I'm ready for a road race...:)
A stunning day bought a stunning race. Never before have I seen soo many people at a bike race with little or no chaos. Full credit to the Taupo event .
Right down to business.
Standing at the start I took a peak over my should and to my surprise the was an impressive line up of Lycra & Carbon as far as the eye could see. Thinking "Am I in the wrong race?" when out of the corner of my eye I saw a cameraman interviewing some random dude next to me, shugged it off and start some sort of mental 'pre race prep', relax into a bunch, get settled, coach said stay 3/4 of the way up the bunch, watch for breaks, hydrate, did I leave the Iron on???
Off we pushed (Truly a casual meander for the start). Across the bridge and up the first hill it didn't take long for the bunch to form. As planned I settled into the bunch an proceeded the relax, looking around the bunch I saw Bevan Docherty riding up next to me, Ahhh now the cameraman makes sense. Whilst trying not to fall off my bike with excitement I spent the next 45min riding behind him reading his name tag, 'Bevan Docherty, you're an Olympic champion going through my head' the things you do to pass the time in a race... The next hour was much of the same enjoying the scenery and trying to not clip the person in front. Just over an hour into the race there was a little commotion up the front of the pack, with one of the riders pointing out he could see the Group 1a ahead. Suddenly it was all on, a rotation was started and the tempo changed up a gear, standing up on all the hills with the typical roadie banter telling someone to get up the front and "Do some bloody work". With every corner we turn the pack ahead came closer and closer until we had them! a wave of roadies covered both sides of the road and stay there for the next 15min. Car squeezing past with the call from riders "Car", Car", "Caaar". Funny the sound of this reminds me of 'Finding Nemo" when all of the seagulls are chasing a Nemo calling "Mine", "Mine", etc (It would makes sense if you heard it).
So Kuratau hill came and went and I was feeling the pinch on the up hills, but pulling back fine on the flats. But suddenly a break away had formed and I spent the next 15min watching my pack try to catch them, half hearted attempt if you ask me, so I took the hand break off and dropped the lead foot. Passing the front of my group in seconds and powering out by myself... or so I thought. Left right, left right, push push, closer and closer I pulled in the break away group until I was safely attached to the back Woot Wooo!!! I had done it. Little did I know I had also just pulled the hundred odd lazy bastards from the pack behind with me. To my surprise one of them praised me for being there by tapping me on the back saying "Glad you here mate, they would have got away otherwise"...
The rest of the race was much of the same with Me and Connor Power (Bike friend) passing a bit of smack talk back and forwards to kill the time. Hatepe Hill came and once again I struggle up 'left right, left right, push push...' when I heard a voice from behind "Come on mountain biker, get up the hill, your being passed by a 52yr old..." Marco!!! A sudden rush of incentive came over me and I chased hard, catching Marco just over the top of the hill. Back into the bunch it was time to power home. Along the flats, up the Airport hill, into Taupo. Somehow I ended up at the front, the reality why hit me pretty quickly, the Lazy Bastards were back sitting on my tail waiting for the sprint, until the last corner and 200mtrs from the finish BAM!!! Off they went, I tried to respond but had nothing, one day will learn...
Stoked with my result I came in at 4hrs 08min, a respectable result for my first Lake Taupo Challenge. Officially I finished 5th in my age category, and 95th over all. I'll be back next year in the Classic Race (Up with the big boys, yes Clive that's you)
Oh and P.S Bloody Marco (52yr old shark) beat me by a mere 9secs, good effort Marco.