Pages Navigation Menu

Southern Alps Tour 10th -14th November 2016

Tour Update Day 5 and Final Results

Huge congratulations to all riders for completing the inaugural Southern Alps Tour! If the last 5 days were anything to go by the next tour will be insane! Some seriously happy faces rolling into Wanaka this afternoon for some celebrating!

Day 5 kicked off in Haast, thankfully the wind from the previous day had high-tailed it out of Haast making for far more pleasant conditions than when we arrived the day before. Racing stage started early today, a quick roll through the township of Haast and we were racing. There were a few tactics playing out today with a certain A grade rider from the McDonald brothers doing everything in his power to regain that green jersey. Was exciting to see Dan, Mikey and Guppy breakaway and chase down the other grades in an effort to win the sprint! C grade were getting a bit of revenge on the Pink Ladies after the ladies used some slightly dodgy tactics the day before, 3 of the Pink Ladies were off the back of C grade and its the first time all tour I’ve seen them looking not happy! There were some evil glares being sent towards the rapidly disappearing backs of their fellow riders!

After a quick stop with dozens of hungry sandflys we were on the road for the Individual Time Trial up Hellsgate! Now, I would like to say that the climb wasn’t near as bad as it sounds but I was in a car and judging by the riders faces when they completed the climb it was all that the name suggests and more! Quickest time up the climb was Chris McDonald in 22.21, not a bad effort for a hill climb on a TT bike, also heard a rumour he managed to drop his chain on the climb as well. Last arse over the pass (Hellsgate goes up Haast Pass) was Paul Carr, and no Paul wasn’t the slowest, riders go in reverse order of GC and Paul was the last over the line, he did however climb pretty well for an Aussie who doesn’t seem to be able to stay upright once he is off his bike! The tour rolled on down Haast Pass and stopped at Cameron Flat for lunch, coffee as well thanks to Guppy from Kiwi Coffee.

Post lunch was a neutral ride along the edges of Lake Wanaka and up to Lake Hawea, some amazing views along the lakesides and you could see the riders constantly pointing out sights to one another as they rode along. Once we hit Lake Hawea properly it was time for the penultimate racing stage through to Hawea township. Like me I think the riders thought this would be a reasonably flat stage, ummmm, nope! There are some brutal wee hills along the edge of the lake as we soon discovered! I’ve heard there was a reasonable amount of swearing and suffering as riders put in the effort to make sure they consolidated their hold on their respective jerseys.

The final TTT was reduced a couple of kms due to some unexpected roadworks at the site of the TTT start. This put the pressure on Team Rolf Prima as they had yet to win a TTT stage and they now had 2km less road to make up some time! So with a tailwind and the end of the tour in sight the scene was set for a super-fast effort to the finishline! The riders were putting the hurt on from the get-go on this stage! The winning team was Rolf Prima in a time of 7mins 10 secs! 20 seconds quicker than their closest rivals who have been newly named Team Kiwicoffee! Team Vaya Vaya were 3rd a further 2mins 30 back followed by Team L&P/Mrs Browns Boys (these guys still don’t have a team name….), then Crunchie and the Allsorts with the Pink Ladies finishing in style behind them.

Riders rolled on in to the Oakridge in Wanaka where they were welcomed by a round of applause from the crew! 800 and something kms, no accidents (there were a couple of slips on railway lines but no injuries), a lot of laughs, not many tears, a lot of sunshine, a little bit of rain, some wind – tailwinds and headwinds, all combined with some of the South Islands most spectacular scenery made for a magical and inspirational 5 days of riding bikes! Was great to spend the final night of the tour in such a beautiful place, the Oakridge certainly has everything you need to feel pampered and relaxed after 5 days of riding! The pools at the hotel looked stunning so I hope some of the riders took the time to take advantage of them for some R&R before heading home.

Final results:

Final Results SAT 2012

Final A Grade points SAT 2012

Final B Grade points SAT 2012

Final C Grade points SAT 2012