Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hawkes Bay Tour

Headed up to The Bay, along with Subway Avanti team mates, James and Pat in the Subway team wagon. Was going to be a hard task backing up last years result (where I took out the overall GC), but I was motivated to have a good crack at it. 
The Hub tour was held over 3 days and if nothing else, would be a good leg stretcher before the main goal of the summer, The Tour of Wellington. Starting with an ITT and finishing with a hill top summit finale on the last day. 

We decided to live it up while staying in The Bay - our hotel room had a spa, perfect after a hard days racing.

Carbo loaded on pasta most nights. 

Yep, life was good in The Bay.
Ok, to the racing...

Didn't quite have the speed needed to reach the top 5. Started well, but then just couldn't get into to a good rhythm. Still, it's early days - the speed will come from the racing over the next week. Finished 6th - stage was won by national TT champ, Jeremy Vennell.


Stage 1
Held on the Apley Road Circuit, where the road nationals was held a while back. First lap, James crashed about 10km in, leaving just me and Pat to fight it out. Nothing really special happened in the stage, a few breaks went, but were brought back. Finished 9th, 28 seconds behind stage winner, Jeremy Yates.
Stage 2
Criterium around the back streets of Napier. I decided to sit in and save my legs, but this strategy was not the best in hindsight! The rubber band was really stretching at times, with riders leaving gaps and sitting up. Ended up wasting more energy than I should of and losing 54 seconds to eventual stage winner, Yates.
Stage 3
A new stage for the tour with lots of climbing. Plan was to take out both KOM climbs, to try and win the KOM title. Easier said than done! The guys higher up on GC were still fighting it out for the podium and were laying into each other. Won the first KOM, with a solo attack 7km before the climb, just holding on over the top. Second lap, had to try something different, so took off up the road with a couple of others, rolling them at the top of the climb. Finished 6th on the stage, just behind Jeremy Vennell.

Stage 4 
Josh Page and Omer Kem took off at the beginning of the stage and built up a lead of about a minute. Heading into the 800 meter climb to the stage finish I attacked, but couldn't quite ride them down. Still, I was happy with 3rd on the stage (and 7th overall on final GC) heading into Tour of Wellington, which starts on Wednesday.


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