This was the second tour in 1 week for most of us, so was always going to be a test for everyone as alot of people were still suffering from Tour of Taranaki only four days prior.
The 1st stage started so early in the morning i cant even remember what time it was all i know is that we were wiping frost off our gloves, arm warmers and stuff in the first 10km and could bearly see more than 100meters in front of us.... Definitly a true winters morning!
The 1st stage was 50km and although only a short one it had some testing terrain and there were a few keen boys who were pretty keen on lighting things up early in the tour. There were a few attacks early on but were all covered pretty easily by the strong looking NZ junior team who had a nice formation happening. The 1st KOM was attacked hard by Mark Langlands but i managed to roll him 10meters before the line, 15km before the finish we had a nice 7.5km and the pace was on from the bottom but nothing too exciting happened and we all rode down the other side together with the odd attack from a few people including myself before we came down the home straight.. the stage was taken out by Darren Shea 2nd Langlands and me in 3rd
Time for the stage that pretty much determined the tour the TT it was only 6km but these bad boys really hurt the lungs and legs and i cant say i was looking ford to it.. but any way.. Edwin crossling set the fastest time 1sec faster then Matt Haydock who some how found a way to miss his start...(he must of still had is watch set on auckland time) Keiren Doe rounded out the major placings 3sec down and me 4th 4sec down.
So G.C results going into last stage-Crossling,Haydock,Bewley
The last stage was a real tester 92km. There were some pretty impressive climbs in this puppy and a hill top finish, finishing where we started in Piatuha. The pace was on from the start but the race was neturilised after about 20km when we hit some road works and had to stop..few of the guys took the chance for a piss stop and a few jokes were shared (it was pretty cold). Straight a way three guys went off the front Geoff Burndred (2nd time in one week) Justin Kerr and Calvin Wilson.. these guys rode amazingly strong getting out to a good 1min 45sec the chasing began 30km out few swear words shared through out the bunch when people werent taking laps. The tired trio were caught 15km out after a good 60km effort. There was alot of tension in the last few k's as only a few seconds seperated the top 4. The stage was won by Burnderd a good reward for his efforts today,, Haydock 2nd Clinton avery 3rd and me 4th.
Because of time bonuses this Gave Matt the tour win with Crossling in 2nd and me 3rd. All round a great tour well organised very enjoyable and strong performance from every one.
Cheer Cheer, Sam