The Friday was all about the Logistics, packing bike and all the dry & wet gear in case it rains and hoping it stays hot and dry (NZ weather to be consistent Yeah Right)
Forecast was light rain for the Saturday race, did the usual leave work at 3pm for the Coromandel and hoping the Auckland traffic was clear for that time but no luck an hour to get out of Auckland, after an hour of traffic it was the open road to Coromandel.
Clear weather until i got to the Kopu hill where it was rain and winds thinking not what i had in mind for the race day, standing water means lots of braking ........
Arriving in Tairua (Decided to stay there good view of the weather) it was not looking good but had a great dinner with my best mate and family, hoping for a clear day and good roads!! Alarm clock buzzing at 5h10am thinking why was i doing this but thinking its a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride the great Coromandel with the best scenery :)
I rushed to open the curtains and there it was light rain and low cloud mist..... where was Zwift for me to have a coffee and ride inside. The competitive side came out and said lets do this and have some fun, off to breakfast i went for a bowl of oats and a banana. Loading up the UTE and off we went to Whitianga, Pumpkin hill lots of rain and all the way to the start.
At the start was lots of people hiding from the drizzle and all ready to ride, off to the start line and away we go all wet and eager to get warm up the first hills. We are in a group of 50 and as we hit the first hill we all start to feel the roads gradient and then i hear a guy say ahh nice and warm lets go.......
The hills were coming thick and fast between Whitianga & Coromandel and so was the humidity after the rain but made for a more pleasant ride when it was drizzling. Once over the top of the Whangapoa hills it was a slow decent in the wet roads into the Coromandel.
No rain and the long road to the Thames with two big hills on the way, feeling good and ready for some speed off we went trying to find a group that could help us keep up some pace.
The first Hills Manaia & Kereta Hills were a nice climb before the long flat haul to Thames but halfway there it was raining again and back to the dirt filled water and keeping my mouth closed. Racing at an average of 34km\H was fun but missed the faster group and had to stay in line to save some energy for the big Kopu climb.....
We got a huge welcome coming into the Thames as this was the K1 start and thinking wow we could use some fresh legs for a good pull through the last part of the course lets see who we can find. Then i hear a noise from behind mmmm sounds like wheels and yep there it was a huge 40 plus peloton coming through and making feel like i was standing still, up on the pedals i go and hook the rear for a draft through to Kopu.
On the ascent to the Kopu i slowly lost the pace of the faster K1 riders (Thinking i was fast) but had a good lot of energy left so decided to pace myself up the hill and enjoyed a drinks station with a banana to fuel for the long ride to Tairua before Pumpkin hill and the next fuel station.
Nearing the top of Kopu the wind decided the climb was not hard enough and was gusting through the pas and the ride down was really harsh trying to get to a cruising speed of 60kmh with riders all over the road it was chaos plus the wet road... luckily we all made it down and ready for the long haul to Tairua which was where i found the next group of cyclist all in good spirits to help us get through.
The undulating ride was a great rest from climbing but knowing the end was near made it fun and enjoyable with all the K1 & K2 cyclists around to talk of the fun and what was seen on the road. As i closed in on Tairua the group i was with decided they wanted to chase and i got stuck behind but used to the being alone and just hammering at my pace thinking of the wonderful sights and scenery NZ has to offer and doing it while wet we have it all here :)
Being on my own entering Tairua i got a surprise welcome and being cheered on was an awesome feeling being in this event, the support was fantastic and as i got up Pumpkin Hill the water station was pumping with energetic people handing out jelly beans and water (makes it more fun to stop and shove the sweet laden beans in to keep the energy flowing)
Enough of the relax back on the bike and down the other side for the final haul to Whiatianga and to a cup of coffee to warm up.. I caught up with two cyclists and yes politely asked to join as they were on the K1 and screeching at a pace and knew i could just go all in to make the end. With 30km to go we had numerous riders in small and big groups attacking but needed to slow down a little as the rain clouds were looming and still wanted to keep up some pace but also not blow and have to crawl at the end.
At the final 5km mark we had a bigger group of 25 riders and the rain started to fall and some riders started to act funny and nearly had a few crashes but luckily i dodge a few of these and with a KM decided time to fly.
The Velocite Magnus was ready and as it says on the Bike built to Hammer i did exactly that, having ridden my Merida Reacto, Avanti i found this bike comfortable, light and responsive and still had energy to fly to the finish line with a time of 7h10 minutes. The best part of this ride was i could have gone over another 40km and proving that the bike does help and dont have to spend a fortune on a professional bike.
I would recommend anyone to do the K2 one of the best rides i have ever done and off to do the Taupo ride thinking not so bad now just need to go faster #Velocite Magnus
Check out the Bike on my website as it is price to be the best bike you have ridden.