Here we go, as promised, a little slide show from the race day last Saturday:
There were 12 different categories to take part in for the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, the solo ride of course but also different relay team challenges, Mountain Bike challenges off road, Tandems, Enduro and Maxi Enduro to mention a few.
John, Linton and Jeremy did the solo 160 km ride and were scheduled to start at 07.15. Since Bruce and Nathan did the Linfox Tarmac Relay, Nathan was bussed over to the halfway point and Bruce started at about 8 am, after all the solo cyclists had gone.
As a safety measure, the start of the solo ride was split into different starting groups based on the cyclists own estimations of how long it would take them to complete the course. All the groups started in "waves", which meant that us supporters had a hard job trying to quickly establish if our boys were in the current "wave" or not.
It was a bit tricky, as they came out of the start in great speed down the first hill, and we had to watch quite a few "waves" before we finally got lucky and were able to snap a few shots as they zoomed by!
The kids were great though! They stood there bravely and shouted "RBA!!! RBA!!!" on and on for each wave that passed us.
The weather wasn't the best on the day, and although we were dressed for it, kind of - as we wanted to show off our white-and-yellow supporter shirts we weren't wearing any jackets - we were so cold after those first few hours in the early morning!
So, having a big breakfast with all the works and some nice hot chocolates really did the trick after having seen our boys off!
We then had time to just quickly go home for a short pit stop, decorate the house with black, yellow and white balloons everywhere - and put on some more clothes. Then back in to town again to catch them as they crossed the finish line! We only had an estimate of when they were going to come in, so we didn't want to be late.
Nicole took Sean and his bike over to the meeting point where Jeremy would pick him up, for Sean to accompany him for the last 5 km into the finish. Unfortunately she didn't then make it back to see them cross it (because of the parking situation in town) - so lucky I got some good photos! Sean had a great ride, and will live on this experience for a long time I would imagine.
The support crew missed Linton unfortunately, he passed by far too quickly for us to notice and didn't get mentioned over the loudspeakers; but so did John, so we got him as he came in, and later also Nathan, Jeremy and Sean.
After the race, we went home for our heroes to shower and change - and back into town yet again, for the aerobatics display and the award ceremony. Not only were there plenty of awards given to special people who had taken part in the race, but there was also some really flash spot prizes randomly awarded amongst all the participants. Unfortunately none of our guys won anything.
We made a quick stop at the pub on the way home from the ceremony, had some pizza for dinner and then I can tell you, it was a very early night for most..!
They were all so pleased though with their efforts - and already planning for next year! Well done guys!