Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Games Begin...

With haircuts for all!   (our hostess is a hairdresser, her husband works in a bike shop and they both are cyclists)
 The oldest rider, 80 years old, started when he retired from farming at 70.
 ready for the prologue timetrial stage of 8k to sort out seedings...and off!
 and back again in 14 minutes....
 The first day's headquarters was at an arboretum.
 Off on the second stage, two laps of a 22k circuit.
I rode the reverse way around the circuit, so that I could see them twice and get some riding in my legs.  
I missed one turn as I arrived before the route marshall and managed one big hill down and up before reaching a sign saying "gravel road".....and they say it as it is!!
Apparently the best beach around here is down that way......
So retrace down and up to get back on course.

I like the official escort car for the main argues with the one with blue flashing lights!

The second day of the two-day, four stage race started overcast, thankfully..and the bunches received  last minute instructions as they awaited the "off", from above Whanganui on the Eastern side of the city.
 then along the flat, past sections and paddocks...
 but that didn't last long!!  (the cars are official support/commissaires cars, the van has spare wheels)   I was in the first aid van.
past a childrens' playhouse....looking just like the farmhouse!
 Down to Hunterville (where the Huntaway dogs come from)

The population in 2006 was recorded as 441....but obviously it serves a wide farming area, mainly sheep, plus passing trade from the State Highway.

 The old Post Office, now a Bed and Breakfast, with model sheep in front, and yes, that is a Saltire on the flagpole! (the wind neatly dropped every time I tried to take its picture)
 lunch al fresco, then back for another hilly 60+k back to Whanganui, starting in a flat cherry tree lined street in Hunterville...
                            but not staying flat for long..                                                    

 and he finished, still upright, still talking coherently, albeit very tired.
Through the hills the temperature on the way back was about 32 degrees.

 Returning across the river to the velodrome headquarters of the race.
Whanganui is called the River City.
Then the prize presentation and the results!

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