Jo and I lucked out tonight and got the honeymoon suite (above). Scott nearly choked on a carrot he was eating when I came in to the communal area and said to Jo “ come on sweetheart, we’ve got the honeymoon suite and should try and make the most of it”.
I’ve had a few nicknames over the years but I’ve been given one from Scott thats one of the better ones “The TGV” following my pull on the front yesterday.
Today was one tough and awesome day. Gordo and made it clear that it would be difficult to complete the ride together with the optional KOM tack on in the 12 hour time limit. He clearly thought it was going to be tough as he chose not to swim first thing or run after.
Me… Jo had come up with a great strategy for me. So … 6:30 into the minibus already in my wetsuit. 6:35 hit the water and the clock starts. Cruise in the beautiful Lake Taupo for 45 minutes then run a 10k with Petro and Blanco. Back at room at about 8:20. Jo had grabbed me a great breakfast sarnie which I ate as I sorted myself out. 8:20 riding over to the other lodging and breifing.
It was a big day ahead with head winds all the way and hell of a lot more hills than I’d realised. As we headed out we saw Clas coming in late. There was a massive hill at the start and Gordo was keeping the pace low to allow Clas to get back on. Soon Rob Quantrell came up to the front. We joked that now we could blame it on him if Clas had to work too hard. Once over the top and with Clas on (I thought) I started my plan of pushing the pace early to break up the group before the main part of the KOM. Unfortunately Clas wasn’t on and when he bridged up he wasn’t the happiest with us. I think my pull yesterday was cancelled out.
I kept pushing and soon there was some playing around and we managed to drop 3 of our group. We hit the climb as a group of 5 and early on there were a few surges from Gordo which I covered and when I saw we’d gapped Petro and Blanco I put in another surge. I hung with Gordo and Clas as long as I could and established a decent gap over the others. At that point I decided I should go at my own pace. I’m glad I did because it was a long long climb often into a gale force headwind to the Top Of Bruce (aka Whakapapa) – the highest Tarmac’d road in New Zealand (1300m apparently). It was good to be going at my own pace. I managed 3rd.
On the way back down I saw that most of the camp had decided not to do the climb but about halfway up there was Jo sticking her tongue out at me heading up. Good on her.
At the bottom I’d decided to wait for her and told the guys. They said they’d wait as well and then we joked on about them telling her I’d wanted to leave. Then the documentary crew put the camera on us so I say “Come on guys lets get going we shouldn’t wait for Jo’. Gordo told the story tonight and it got a huge laugh. Jo won the green jersey for a gutsy performance.
That was just the half of it. She then sat on my wheel for a good hour of pushing along at a pace that dropped loads of people on the previous days. After lunch it was harder work for her but she guts’d it out right to the finish. God knows how much work she did but I’m so proud of her. It was a superb bit of riding and seems to me she’s got to be getting stronger on the bike.
I’d decided not to run off the bike but we made such good time that when Clas asked if I’d join him I couldn’t resist. So a very enjoyable extra point was had as we chatted the whole way. Foot felt great doing a 52 minute 10k after such a big day.
Tomorrow there are no competitions so perhaps I’ll get an easier day.