The tour Aotearoa has not been “plain sailing” this year.
The first of the 6 x 100 rider waves started on the 10th at Cape Reinga, and they got hammered with the remnants of a tropical storm that had been nearby.
The next day the 2nd ferry had to be cancelled due to the storm, which meant that the alternative route, which was on a very dangerous high use road, that even the locals wont use was still a pretty shitty alternative.(NZ drivers really are that bad, especially in this area).
A plan was hatched where riders could hire a shuttle to take them down to the point where they would normally got off the ferry . This was a good move, and the next day the ferry was running again so the next batch of riders got through. Maybe there were a couple of sailings, Im not 100% sure.
Anyway. Wave 2 started yesterday and they had a massive tail wind down 90 mile beach, which is about 80kms I think (go figure). The first guy was off the beach in 4 hours.
Last night the riders on the Ferry (there are about 5 boat crossings in the Tour Aotearoa) were 20 mins into the 3 hour boat trip when there was an almighty bang. The engine of the boat blew up!
They had to wait for a tow… They got into Helensville at around 3am in the morning! These are first wave riders. The bad news is that a bunch of guys waiting at the bottom of the peninusla at Poutu have to back-track more than 60kms to catch the shuttle, as the boat is terminally munted.
Here are the guys loading up the boat, 20 mins before its engine expired. (Facebooklink)
Meanwhile, at the front, my buddy Cliff, who is from Carlsbad California has pulled the pin. Tired of being wet and riding by himself. He was miles ahead of the next guy, not that its a race. Its a Brevet.
2nd Wave riders are coming through and there is a Single speed rider in the front 3.
If anyone wants a look go here:
4 more 100 rider waves coming soon !