08 January 2007

EC:NZ'07 Day 1

Day 1: Christchurch – Kaikoura
Run, swim, 185km ride with a 70kmTT at the end.

The days started with coffee and light snack at 6:15 followed by an easy 50 minute run along the beach. Then we went to swim. We’ve started off a few camps with a timed 2km swim and that’s been a good challenge so we’ve kept it as a regular feature. Last year Monica Byrn pulled along a paceline at 1:20/100 long course and a few of us hung on. This year we don’t have quite the same firepower in the water as previous camps. Albert Boyce was flying in at 8am so he couldn’t make the swim. John Newsom spread out the faster swimmers to lead 4 lanes so there was no chance for all the faster people to draft off of each other. That left Scott Davis and I to lead the charge. I felt fantastic and actually held 1:20/100 on my own easier than I did drafting last year. Very encouraging! As a bonus I started off the camp leading the points! which is a nice surprise. Maybe Newsome will post some results on his blog. After breakfast we headed off on the bike at 11am.

The ride to Kaikoura is flat for 100km, then hilly for 85km. Young guns Brandon Del Campo and Bevan James-Eyles pulled us along at a very fast clip for the first 50km so we made great time with relatively little effort. After that we hit some hills to the lunch stop in Cheviot and by then it was a balmy 85+ degrees F. We’ve put a 70kmTT for the last part of the ride and it was a damn tough ride. Beven took that out in 2 hours flat with Brandon just behind and me in 3rd at 6 minutes back. That was a big effort! But it put me in the camp Yellow Jersey so it was worth it! I’ve got one day in yellow now after 6 camps...

Day 1 Pics here

The Kaikoura coast is magnificent on a fine day—it really is New Zealand scenery at its finest. I hope the guys had a chance to look around for the last hour. Some of us tacked on to go over 200km for the ride to get some extra points. Looks like we have a few contenders playing the game!

All in all a good day. The sun isn’t setting until after 9pm right now so a nice long, relaxing evening. A short stroll across the road to get an ice cream was a great way to end the day.