Day 3 Invercargill to Bluff (138km)
25th on stage, 25th Overall Leader Mike Northey, Node 4
Carnage is the best way to describe today’s stage. I had 2 punctures, the first at 15km then another at 50km which made it difficult chasing back on. There was a massive crash after Winton involving 40 riders which I just avoided. I was about 1cm from running over Hayden Roulston’s leg. On the run back to Bluff the wind was blowing strong seaside and there were more crashes and punctures. I avoided all of these but missed the move with Roulston and Heath Blackgrove. We then started the notoriously steep Bluff hill and it was tough. For the climb I had special low gearing but because of my puncture I had normal big gearing. Patrick Bevin (yellow jersey) and I climbed together in pursuit of the leaders but we could not close the gap finishing 3 minutes down. Next up is a double day of 148km, Riverton to Tuatapere first then onto Te Anau.
Stage Result 9th, Overall 46th at 23secondsStage winner and yellow jersey Patrick Bevin
The first road stage of the tour. We started inside the velodrome in Invercargill. After a fast start with many sprints the speed settled down when a breakaway was allowed off the front. The day had only light winds so everyone stayed together. The main contender’s teams chased all day, catching the break with 10km to go. The pace over 60 km/h to the finish with many close calls. With the help of my Olphert-Mackenzie Craik team mates I powered up the front to finish 9th.I was happy with this but know with better positioning I can go even better. During the stage I burnt through 10520 Kilojoules when added with normal body activity of 8700Kj equals 19220Kj or 15 big macs burgers. So before the next stage I need to replace all of this. Next up is 140km with the notoriously steep Bluff Hill, guaranteed to be hard.
Tour Dairy Day 1-Prolouge
The first day of the tour, months of preparation have come down to today the start of my biggest week of the year. The route takes in just under 1000km. We take in all the towns in Southland as well as Te Anau and Queesntown. Our team has 5 riders from the South Island with one from Wellington. Our support is a team manager, mechanic, cook and physio so we get well looked after. Today we had the first stage a lung busting 4km team time trial. Our team rode really strong in the wind to finish 12th out of 22. Last year's winning team Powernet took the win from Hayden Roulston's Calder Stelwart team in second which should just be the start of an exciting battle between thoose teams. Next up we have 160km from Invercargill to Lumsden which will suit me.