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The 5 Passes Tour is upon us.

5 passes tour stage 1
Stage 1. Christchurch to Hanmer Springs

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.

Day 1

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!

Day 2

Day 2, the Queen’s stage.

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.

Day 3

Day 3. Arthur’s Pass.

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.

Day 4

Day 4 of the 5 Passes Tour

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.



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