Well day one of the 2022 Tuatara 1000 and Iti rides is well underway.
Writing from a nice, mostly clear evening in Gore, the weather couldn't be further from the conditions faced at the start.
From 6:30am, Main Street Gore was abuzz with the sound of freehubs as people searched for the only open Bakery. Many pies were packed away and coffee enjoyed while the mist (really it was light rain) kept the dust down.
A banter filled briefing, a few photos and everyone being on time (thanks team #dontbelate was well adhered too) meant that the ride got underway on time. Our starting bell was kindly provided by timing of the town clock (Well worth a visit if ever you are in Gore).
Despite the grit, rain and southerly breeze the pace was hot. Dipton had nothing open so riders had to push on to Mossburn to satisfy their caffeine needs.
Greg Edwards took advantage of the Dipton School water tap, much to the surprise of the rural primary students attending their Saturday morning tennis matches.
Reon Nolan rolled through Mossburn in 5th place, no time to stop, but enough time to let me know what he thought of the pace. #puteminthegutter I was taking photos from the Gutter.
Nick Kennedy was the first rider to actually stop in Mossburn; thankfully his Peloton cap not confusing him, you will not catch Nick drafting. A substantial number of calories were consumed before he headed on to Te Anau. A hot shower and a good bed awaited Nick, he is on holiday after all.
Max Jones arrived into Mossburn and promptly took care of giving his steed a refuel. Fanta is cheaper than petrol and Max cannot work out why people would actually ride around this course without help. (This may or may not be correct)
We also have photos of Max enjoying a Jimmy's Mince and Cheese pie (Sponsorship Opportunity) however it does not appear he remembered to blow on the pie.
Thomas Watson joined the group of riders swarming the local cafe, having rocked up looking like a #JulboNZ athlete! Great pace to see from the Accountant from Auckland, no he will not be at the meeting on Monday. #sorryboss
As Greg Edwards was leaving Mossburn he looked slightly confused until he spotted his parents down the side street. Classic sneaky little mental support, not many supporters go to the effort of flying from the other side of the world and enduring MIQ. Carry on Greg!
Geof Blance rolled in and out with an efficiency that could only come from riding the Tour Divide. Rolling with gears and a desire to 'enjoy' the ride, he will be finding somewhere for a six hour break tonight, such are the rules of Brevet mode.
As I write this, there are numerous photos coming in of Clockwise riders enjoying the Taieri Plains. Iti riders are well into the Catlins; hopefully a nice Sunday coastal ride awaits.
The metropolis of Te Anau is awash with Brevet riders meeting their calorie needs and hopefully finding somewhere warm to sleep. Tonight the temperature isn't conducive to a warm bivi.
As has been well noted, our media teams (1&2) have not been sticking to the course and clearly have motorised support, as such they have been DQ'd. We are excited about the sunset footage from Waihoaka as Matt Zenovich continues to be in his happy place - off the front of the bunch.
We wish everyone a warm sleep (or tail wind), helpful internet refresh rates and open coffee shops tomorrow.
See you then