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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Karapoti Classic

After a break last year I returned to karapoti hoping to take the win for the first time. The brutal nature of the course makes it a pretty unique race. Long steep climbs, river crossings, mud bogs, hike a bike sections and rock gardens add up over the 50km of backcountry racing taking their toll on both the body and the bike. Added to this is the race’s history as the longest running MTB race in the southern hemisphere and a pretty prestigious former winners list makes it a pretty important event on the NZ calendar.

I found the race even tougher than I remembered this year and despite the super dry conditions it was actually a lot harder with lots of loose rubbly rock slowing the course down and adding to the difficulty on the climbs especially.
I managed to crash twice, once on an uphill losing traction on the steep rocky climb and then again after getting a bit loose down the famous rock garden descent. Luckily I didn’t do any damage to myself but I did manage to take out a spoke and bend a few others.

But overall the race went well, myself and Edward Crossling got away over the first quarter of the race and then when a flat tyre ruined his chances I carried on alone keeping on the pace as much as I could as I had no idea how close the chasers were. I felt stronger as the race went on but was glad to make it back to the last river crossing in the lead with no one in sight and even better as I crossed the line to win Karapoti for the first time.

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