The 5 Passes Tour is upon us.
So, as quickly as we entered, it arrived. It only feels like yesterday that we were discussing entering a GLCC team. Sure enough, we got 5 riders together to enter the 5 Passes Tour. With no overall ambition on winning, more being participants and scenery watchers, it takes all the pressure off. But, and it’s a big ‘but’, should one of our riders be in a position to podium, then I’ll ride for them.
This tour looks to be the best value ride/race I’ve done. For $1800 it’s all-inclusive. Apart from flights to and from Christchurch, everything is included. When you breakdown the cost, it’s amazingly cheap.
Most multi-day rides cost almost twice as much. Now I don’t know the quality of food, nor accommodation, but it all looks to be very good. The average race costs $150 to enter. And that’s just for 1 day. When you add fuel, food and accommodation on top of that, for a single rider, it’s about $450/day. That makes this ride look cheap. And when you compare it to overseas multi-stage rides, like the Haute Route, this is great value for money. And I’m sure we’ll all have lots of fun while riding. Priceless.
The first day looks pretty nice. A large neutralised sector for 40km, followed by a time sector and another large neutralised one. Then for 6km, we have a team time trial (TTT). We’ve not ridden together in a time trial, so that should be fun!
The hardest of the 4 days. 214 Km long with plenty of climbing. For most of us, it’s our first time over Lewis Pass. Finished off with a short TTT. There’s only 120, of 214km, that are timed. And 20km of that is a TTT. Should be a relatively sweet day in the saddle. That being said, we’re heading for Greymouth. Not known for its sunny climate, more oppressive grey, and wet.
The Arthur’s Pass stage. An unusual stage on paper. A 50km lumpy timed section. Followed by an 8km uphill individual Time Trial. Not many of us will have done a mountain TT before. It’ll be a great experience for us all. We then get to enjoy what Arthur’s pass has to offer, providing the clouds and rain stay away.
The final day. It’ll be a shame to finish. Just as most of us will be riding into some level of fitness, it’ll be over. And with the last 80km being downhill, it’ll be a fast and furious finish to what proves to be a great 4 days. From there it’ll be a dash back to the airport, and return to normal life. Bring it on.