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So the GLCC Kune KOM challenge was a mighty battle. It was fought on the slopes of the Turoa ski field road. A great speech made on the foothills from where the battle would commence, Mark E said ” Meanwhile, GLCC should prepare itself for hard and heavy tidings. I have only to add that nothing which may happen in this battle can in any way relieve us of our duty to defend the polkadot jersey to which we have vowed ourselves; nor should it destroy our confidence in our power to make our way, as on former occasions in our history, through disaster and through grief to the ultimate defeat of our enemies.”

Before the countdown at 8 am sharp, JB added ” We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is the GLCC Kune KOM Challenge ? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human suffering. That is our goal. I ask, what is your aim? You answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be.”

After all of the speeches, Bryant started the challenge. For blood was to be spilt on the verges of the hills upon which they rode. Tears were cried, and the snot flowed freely onto the bars of justice, oh, and the sleeves and gloves of each combatant.

Many are the tales that are told. We are assured that novel will be adopted. For some riders this was not their war – this was a war of the high-up people who use long words and have different feelings. The war of Bryant. For it was him that organised this dreadful challenge. He who didn’t ride. For he feigned sickness (along with Scotty, Byron, and Peter).

The first shots were fired by Paul Altorf, only to be suppressed by Calum. Under the cover of darkness past, Paul went screaming up towards the trophy. Many paced their efforts, and paced a little too conservatively. Some struggled. And Peter stayed warm in the comfort of a car and heated seats.

Whatever way you look at this conflict, it was bloody. The first 5 kilometres average 4-5% gradient. The rest of the climb leaves the climber scared. The fierce Kune Climb settles in at 9% for the next 11 kms. Even that number is deceptive, as the last 3 kms average over 10%. And, it was in those last 3 kms that 9 pints Mikey picked up the pace. If only he hadn’t had that last beer. Who knows what could’ve been.

Calum, Mr Steady State (SS), was metronomic in his ascent to victory. Whilst Mark E chased hard, with just 50 metres separating them, no man’s land was hard to close. There could only be one victor. Although, every rider had a personal victory. They fought on the beaches, they fought on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, they definitely fought fight in the hills; they never surrendered. A huge congratulations to each and every one of them. Bravo.



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