Te Anau – Lumsden 78k:
We enlisted the help of the Powernet team to make sure that Roly could get the essential time bonuses to get into yellow. Right from the gun we had to show our presence and control at the front of the peleton, which we did. I was really happy with my legs to day, which was good timing since most of it was spent at the front!
Stats: 106mins; 78.5k
Total ascent: ascent431m, descent 408m
Av HR: 150bpm and max: 174bpm (a lot lower now that I’m tired).
Well we got the yellow – just. Our plan to win the hotspot didn’t work as the leadout train didn’t really get there in time. Let me explain. The domestiques and rouleurs in each team were responsible for setting a high tempo at the front of the peleton, reeling in any breaks (and there was one serious one) and delivering the ‘lead out’ train two k’s before the hotspot and final sprint (a hotspot means more cash and time bonuses of 3,2 and 1 second for 1st, 2nd and 34d; whereas stage finish was 6, 4 and 2 seconds for the top 3). The lead out train cnsisted of all trackies capable of top end speed to not only deliver Roly but take out the other two placings. When I say high end speed I mean 70kph! The leadout train started too late in Mossburn for the hotspot (Roly got 1 second over Jack), but got it to perfection in Lumsden (stage finish). We were STOKED!
Winton – Invercargill 64k
Defend, defend, defend. Let a break go (with hopefully a Powernet rider in it) and leave it there. Unfortunately Ascot had other plans (they brought the break it back to set up their sprinter Clinton Avery). Fortunately Henderson won the stage for us!
Stats: 90mins; 65k
Av: 43.5kph; HR: 135bpm, max: 165bpm