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Day 2 of the 5 Passes Tour 2019

Day 2 of the 5 Passes Tour 2019

Day 2 of the 5 Passes Tour 2019 started with a 23 km neutralised section before the true race got underway. These neutralised sections serve as a warmup zone, for those of us that need 20+km to warm up.

The next 50km was full gas. Although every morning I’d say that “I’m going to take it easy today” it was far from that. A full-on headwind would see me, and the 2 other guys that I was riding with, suffer. We lost the front of the bunch fairly early on. The next 40km would be uphill into the wind. Shit!

We paced ourselves pretty well, and soon reached the top of Lewis Pass. Just before the summit, we were greeted by a crazy near-naked woman running and high fiving us. That changed our mood. We went from in the hurt box, to full of smiles and cheer. The woman in question was Emily from Ems power cookies. That’s the thing, everything is provided on this tour. From the moment you start pedalling on day 1, to the finish line and evening celebrations it’s all included.

After the KOM of Lewis Pass, we dropped down a beautiful sweeping descent into Mauria Hot Springs. A note of warning for visiting this place, use insect repellant. The sandflies are insane. Swarms of them. Always stand next to a rider with sweeter blood than you. A rider that smells better to them. They’ll suck you drier than an Amsterdam hooker.

We had another 50km timed section next. From the bottom of the hill, it was all on again. This time we were heading up the Rahu Saddle towards Reefton. Yet again I lost the front bunch. I was stuck in no man’s land. Fortunately, I was joined by another rider. Ahead of us were another 4 riders. One rider sat up and dropped back and pulled us up to the other 3.

We were now a group of 6 riders, all happy to take our turns on the front. JOHN RAWSTRON (#53 was a solid rider. He was strong and drove us hard. We managed to survive until about 2km from the town of Reefton, before we were joined by another 20 riders, that we thought we’d escaped from. Damn!


After Reefton, it was a steady tempo effort until we reached the start line of the second TTT. This time we had a secret weapon, Paul Odlin, of Odlin coaching. He’s such a gentleman of the sport. He helped us pace our TTT correctly, offering advice. Advice that was certainly warranted. A helping hand where needed. And although we didn’t win, we learnt a lot. All in all, a very successful experience.

After that, it was a 30km ride into Greymouth. The name says it all. We cycled into grey weather, a grey town centre, with grey looking people. Enough said. Onto day 3.



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