This weekend just gone I competed in the new Tour de Whaka event in Rotorua. As a way of spicing up their Summer races N Duro events came up with a new race concept which replaced the traditional three round cup series. The Tour consisted of a Hill Climb, Super D and Time Trial with an hour long cross country stage to decide the final result. As part of the weekend, but not counting towards the final results a XC eliminator race was held down at the Government gardens in town. It was a small turn out but we still had some exciting racing in a pretty cool setting.
Day 1 of the tour was a three way race of truth against the cloak kicking off with the Hill Climb taking us to the top of the forest. It wasn’t really a pleasant experience but was a great way to separate everyone out and gave a good indication of what the final results were going to look like. As we started the 2nd stage it started drizzling but thankfully the rain never really got going and we enjoyed a relatively dry first day of racing. There were some interesting times set on the mostly downhill Super D and then again in the short Time Trail stage.
After Day 1, I was sitting in 2nd place not too far behind Carl the leader. But it was always going to be tough to take back any time on a fast mainly flat Cross Country course with little climbing to test the legs and perhaps gain back time. The weather wasn’t playing ball for the second day and after an extremely wet night the forest was soaked. The XC ended up being a bit of an anticlimax as I was unable to make up my deficit and so finished the tour in 2nd place. However it was a good weekend of racing and it will be good to see this race grow and develop as it has a lot of potential and I am pretty sure every that took part had a good time.
I have now begun the annual road trip round the country to take part in the National Series and National Champs. The first round is this weekend down in Dunedin and it's a new venue for us this year with the race moving across town to Signal hill. We are in store for a tough day with a long and steep climb that is harder than anything we have raced for a long time, before a good long descent back down to the bottom and the start finish area. The weather hasn’t been the best over the last few days so it is looking likely to be another wet one.