Thats at least £100,000 worth of bikes racked up on the Wellington to Picton Ferry. The North Island is finished. In the first 8 days I’ve covered 1,326 KM at an average pace of 29.9km/h together with 28.2km of swimming and 113.5km of running. It means I’ve done the camp minimums for swim and run so provided I ride the rest of the camp I’ll achieve camp completion. That is not the aim now though… it’s definitely to hold on to the yellow.
Last night I struggled to get to sleep thinking through the day. Deeply disappointed about not being in on that climb and knowing that I would have cemented my 3rd place in the KOM the mountains. This would mean I was 4.75 points ahead in the GC which would be tricky to lose this week unless something untoward happened. I estimated that instead I would be down in 9th and the competition firm in 3rd which means I’d only be 1.25 points ahead. Today on the ferry Gordo showed me the standings and it was not as bad as that. Petro is now firmly in 3rd and I am in 6th tying with Scott and John ahead by 4 points. With two KOMs left I’ll be unlikely to catch John but Scott is one hell of a competitor and if he puts his mind to it is difficult to beat. Seems worst case is I end up 7th which would make my lead 2.25 points. Should be able to defend that provided there aren’t too many running races but it probably means I’ll have to do more running than I’d planned.
Last night we had a lovely meal at the hotel with everyone over indulging (big time) on the lovely array of desserts. Then Scott took us to a local Belgian bar for a drink or two to celebrate finishing the North Island. With today a rest day with no points for additional training everyone was able to relax.
Breakfast this morning was great. Not only later so we could sleep in but also full cooked – so tonnes of bacon. Lots of coffee and for the americans a waffle machine. Petro was particularly happy. I think I saw him have at least 3 waffles.
The 3 hour boat ride again was a chance to chill out and chat with the guys. Some good banter as usual. It’s the banter that makes these camps to enjoyable. You don’t often get the chance to spend so much time with so many like minded individuals.
We had 28km to ride over to Blenheim. My bike had been fixed. not as bad as I’d feared. The chain needed replacing and it turns out the inner cage of my dereilleur was bent. It’s been straightened but needs replacing. As we rode over I checked it out and in my fourth biggest sprocket the chain keeps jumping. The mechanic here has looked at it and the cassette needs replacing. I may be able to do that in Christchurch with a little luck. I rode with Gordo and he told me he was very impressed with how I dealt with the chain problem yesterday and that he’d learnt something from it. He said he thought I was the best guy on the camp for it to happen to as I dealt with it so well.
Everyone is just chilling out now. Getting a beer or two down (one of the sponsors is Steinlager!) and snacking endlessly. Barbeque tonight. I’ve taken a look at the next few days and been thinking about tactics for the KOMs on the next two days together with where I can do additional runs / swims to try and secure the jersey.
Perhaps one day I’ll manage to do a camp without getting caught up in the points. This camp has been so much fun I’d really love to do the Boulder camp next summer but unless my premium bonds come in I don’t think we’ll be able to afford it.