What a day, Hokitika really turned it on for Round 4 of the Benchmark series.
Driving over to the coast on Friday afternoon it did not look like the
weather was going to be that great for race day. It rained in true West Coast fashion,
it was tipping down, then a few dry spells then down the rain came again.
Oh well it will be what it will be.
Once everyone arrived we all went out for tea and talked tactics, Nadine & I discussed where we would run in the morning, we need to get our training in but we could not interest Richard in getting up to join us. Richard was team mechanic and feed man.
Nadine was in charge of the tweeting while Mary was behind the wheel of the mighty R8!
Nadine & I got back from our run and told the boys that it was going to be a beautiful day. The boys got fuelled up with breakfast and lots of nervous talk. The support crew went off to the Race Start to get numbers, attend the Manager’s race brief and of course the all important support crew coffee, yet again Nadine gets stuck with ordering Mary’s special latte with marshmallows, kudos to Richard for having cash to buy coffees for the girls!
Numbers are pinned on to riders, spare wheels put into neutral support vehicle, group
hug, yeah nah, group photo and team High5CFO are lined up ready to race.
The support crew get their spot in the convoy and we are off.
One of the checks we got only a few kms into the race was that one of our riders was off the front we were excited about that. Having misplaced our rider list it took us awhile to work out that it was Stu!
Darrell punctured which was bad luck, Darrell has had a lot of good luck on this course so it was a shame that he punctured at the start of the Blue Spur loop as it is near impossible to get back into the race.
Next casualty was Geoff who suffered cramp but there was nothing we could do. Is there anything more painful than watching someone cramp each time they try and swing their leg back over their bike? The three of us in the car were feeling the pain!
It is always hard to leave the riders and move on to take care of the
ones still in the race.
Next team rider to get dropped was Wayne, he got dropped off a couple of times and
fought his way back. Luckily there seemed to be a small group yo-yo’ing off the
back together so he had company to assist with getting back on. Wayne was not that confident with his form
heading into this race but he did pretty good for someone who reckoned they were
not fit. The good news is that he has now got the motivation back to start training and
Scott was the next rider we had to drive past, coming down onto the flat before we hit the Main Highway Scott was in a bunch that past the convoy, Scott was pretty chuffed
to be in a position to pass the team car made a change from being past and left
Heath & Stu were still in the bunch then Stu made a break and we get called up to cover the two riders chasing the break. Scott & his bunch managed to make contact with the peleton.
Well I can tell you it was like old times being at the front end of the race this was awesome. Stu got 3rd so there were
lots of sweaty hugs for the team.
If you want to catch all the updates that we tweeted from the race then check out: https://twitter.com/TourAlps
The tweets fed directly into the "coveritlive" news feed on the race website.
A very good result for the team next race is Queenstown the course will more than likely be to Glenorchy and back finishing at Moke Lake which is a brutal hill top finish.
Race report by Mary & Nadine...