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Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 NZ CUP #1 Wellington.

First hit out for 2014 and a chance to see if the training has been paying off or not as well as the added element of a new Bike, testing the new Giant XTC 27.5 in competition for the first time. Mt Vic a regular on the NZ circuit and always a favourite of mine would be a good honest venue to bring in the new season.

As usual we were treated to a tough Wellington course with plenty of steep climbing. Similar to what we have raced in the past with a few new descents to freshen things up and a bit more single trail in the last half making for quite an enjoyable lap.

A rusty start off the line left me a bit of work to do early on but I made it to the front group reasonably comfortably and settled in for the first lap content to wait and see how things would play out. A group of 5 formed up the first climb with Tom Bradshaw lapping up the home town support and charging on the front. Into the 2nd lap and the lead group was shuffled round a bit with first Tom then Carl dropping off leaving three of us at the front with Matt Waghorn dictating the pace and Sam Gaze and myself following.

Not too much changed for the next few laps.  Personally I wasn’t feeling overly comfortable and at times had to dig pretty deep to stick with the group. Nearing the end of the race both Sam and Matt came close to hitting the deck and hoping they might be tiring I tried a couple of attacks but didn’t really achieve much, lacking the speed to put the others into any real trouble.

Last lap and things finally got shaken up. Matt accelerated at the bottom of the main climb and I was dropped initially but managed to climb back up to the other two and then perhaps a bit rashly tried one last attack. Unfortunately it backfired with Sam launching his winning move over the top of the climb. This time I was dropped for good with Matt also falling off Sam’s pace. I held Matt at around 10 secs or so for most of the lap but was never able to catch up, riding in for third behind Matt in 2nd and Sam in first.
The new bike was great to ride and although I didn’t quite get the result I was after this time it was still a solid race. Next stop Nelson on the 2nd of February.

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