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October Race Blog

October has been another wicked month of progression coming into summer. I raced the Yunca Junior Tour of Southland, Calder Stewart Elite Series Hell of The South and have begun racing the Te Awamutu Summer Series on Tuesday nights.

 

The Yunca Junior Tour gave me more good time on the bike to build strength and gain experience. I featured in major breakaways on stages 2,3 and 6 to gain myself points towards Sprint Ace and KOM. Unfortunately on Stage 4 I missed a key breakaway which featured 6 really strong boys. The bunch never brought them back and these 6 boys all got up on me on the General Classification. My GC position in the end was 7th although I came away with 2nd on the longest stage and finished top 5 in Sprint Ace and top 10 in KOM. 

 

The Hell Of The South in Christchurch was EPIC. 144km with eight gravel sections. About 75km into the race I went down in a crash with several other riders. I got back on my bike and made it back to the bunch but on the second to last gravel section I was dropped from the main bunch as it split up. I finished 2nd U17, 16th U19 and 39th overall out of a 86 man field. The gravel sections were a new experience for me and they proved really hectic. There were riders crashing and puncturing all over the place. 

 

I’ve also begun racing on Tuesday nights at the Te Awamutu summer series. We have already had guys like XC MTB U23 World Champ Sam Gaze turn up to race which gives me a good opportunity to put myself in the box and get lots of quality training out of it. 

 

My swimming and running are coming along nicely. Really looking forward to my first triathlon of the season on the 19th of November with the Tinman Tri in Tauranga.

 

Yunca Time Trial

Hell of the South

Yunca Stage 3

Yunca Stage 4

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October Race Blog

October has been another wicked month of progression coming into summer. I raced the Yunca Junior Tour of Southland, Calder Stewart Elite Series Hell of The South and have begun racing the Te Awamutu Summer Series on Tuesday nights.

 

The Yunca Junior Tour gave me more good time on the bike to build strength and gain experience. I featured in major breakaways on stages 2,3 and 6 to gain myself points towards Sprint Ace and KOM. Unfortunately on Stage 4 I missed a key breakaway which featured 6 really strong boys. The bunch never brought them back and these 6 boys all got up on me on the General Classification. My GC position in the end was 7th although I came away with 2nd on the longest stage and finished top 5 in Sprint Ace and top 10 in KOM. 

 

The Hell Of The South in Christchurch was EPIC. 144km with eight gravel sections. About 75km into the race I went down in a crash with several other riders. I got back on my bike and made it back to the bunch but on the second to last gravel section I was dropped from the main bunch as it split up. I finished 2nd U17, 16th U19 and 39th overall out of a 86 man field. The gravel sections were a new experience for me and they proved really hectic. There were riders crashing and puncturing all over the place. 

 

I’ve also begun racing on Tuesday nights at the Te Awamutu summer series. We have already had guys like XC MTB U23 World Champ Sam Gaze turn up to race which gives me a good opportunity to put myself in the box and get lots of quality training out of it. 

 

My swimming and running are coming along nicely. Really looking forward to my first triathlon of the season on the 19th of November with the Tinman Tri in Tauranga.

 

Yunca Time Trial

Hell of the South

Yunca Stage 3

Yunca Stage 4

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September Wrap Up

September Wrap Up

by Reuben Thompson- Ambassador

I raced twice this month with those races both being Cycling New Zealand Schools races. The first was the Northern Schools tour which had National Titles up for grabs in the Hill Climb and the Time Trial. The race also had a criterium. I really didn’t feel myself the whole weekend and really struggled across all events. In the time trial and hill climb I only just sneaked top twenty results. The criterium went a little better as I managed to get away solo and pick up some intermediate sprint points to bring up my result on GC before being caught by the bunch and finishing 10th in the bunch kick. The points I got lifted my GC place a wee bit and I finished 15th for the weekend. 

 

My second race was the New Zealand Secondary Schools Road National Champs. There were two events I was competing in across the weekend, those being a road race and a points race. For both these races I felt considerably better than I had at the Northern Tour. In the road race I gave it a crack a few times to get in a breakaway but it seemed like to many boys had the same idea and nothing was going to stick. It then finished in a bunch kick for the line. With 100m to go I was well positioned for a top 10 finish but some Under 20 girls we were passing got in my way and instead of braking I tried to go round them on the grass verge. I then hit a reflector marker on the side of the road and nearly ate it. I then finished in 25th. The following day was a points race. I made a break of three riders and picked up some sprint points on the 4th lap. I couldn’t repeat that in anymore sprints but had a good final sprint at the end to put me in 8th. 

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A guide to skiing in Wanaka

Image_ (51)

Taking a gamble… sometimes it pays off, writes travel writer Justine Tyerman

Those magical words ‘Snow-To-Low-Levels’ create a kind of lunacy in keen skiers – they were all it took for us to jump on the Air NZ website, find some surprisingly-cheap airfares from Gisborne to Queenstown return, email our mates at Outside Sports to rent ski gear, contact JUCY Rentals to book a 4WD and call our daughter and her fiancé in Sydney to meet us for a long weekend in Wanaka.

We’ve often talked about heading south at a moment’s notice when the weather and snow conditions are perfect rather than booking months in advance and finding we’ve hit precisely the WRONG week. But until this year, we’ve never been brave, free and spontaneous enough to just do it.

Time was short so I came up with a hair-brained scheme whereby we would pick up the skis, boots, poles and helmets at the Wanaka Outside Sports shop and meet Sophie and Doug up at the mountain at Cardrona so we could cram in a half day’s skiing straight after they arrived. We had been dealing with Outside Sports for decades, way back when they were called Good Sports, but the likelihood of the shop having exactly the gear we needed including the right-sized boots without Sophie and Doug trying them on was a long shot… but worth a gamble.

Lottie And Henry At Outside Sports.

Lottie and Henry at Outside Sports.

However, not only had lovely Lottie and Henry retrieved the records of the last time we rented gear from the Queenstown shop two years previously, they had brand new equipment put aside for us. Super-efficient, super-friendly, super-equipment. It’s so nice to see the same faces in the shop year-after-year too – Kazu who sold me my first pair of Dynastars many years ago, Paul who doctors my boots every year to accommodate my bunions and smiley Jack, the funny rental guy.

We were out of there within 15 minutes and heading up the mountain with big grins on our faces… and slight feelings of trepidation over the fit of the boots especially for super-fussy Sophie.

Sophie And Doug All Geared Up And Ready To Ski.

Sophie and Doug all geared up and ready to ski.

When she slipped her feet into the boots and smiled, it was a promising sign. And when she was beaming after the first run, there was a huge sense of relief all round. Easy-to-please Doug was very happy with his brand new Langes so the rent-before-you-try gamble had paid off. They also rated the new Dynastars the best they had ever skied on. And the helmets and poles were a good fit too.

Our long weekend turned into four magnificent days’ skiing in primo snow and weather conditions with clear, sunny skies and no wind, and one misty, snowy day during which we did planning for Sophie and Doug’s wedding in Wanaka early next year. We even had a day of fresh, fluffy powder… bliss.

Perfect Snow And Weather Conditions At Cardrona Alpine Resort.

Perfect snow and weather conditions at Cardrona Alpine Resort.

We skied the entire mountain from boundary to boundary and everything in between. It had been years since we’d skied the Secret Shute on the extreme right of the mountain (looking up) and it was brilliant – untouched powder and the whole piste to ourselves.

We rode the ‘Chondy’, Cardrona’s smart new McDougall’s Express Chondola lift – a chair and gondola combo - to the top of the mountain, and sat in beanbags in the sun at the Vista Bar drinking bubbly to celebrate the upcoming wedding.

A Perfect Day At Cardrona Alpine Resort -Chris And Justine On The Queenstown Return Run.

A perfect day at Cardrona Alpine Resort -Chris and Justine on the Queenstown Return run.

Our last run was the gentle scenic Queenstown Return and Skyline along the left boundary with spectacular views of the Southern Alps, the Wakatipu Basin and my childhood holiday home, Arrowtown.

In the summer, we’ll rent some bikes from Outside Sports and take the new Aussie in-laws on a cycle tour of Wanaka. They’ve never been there before so they are in for a real treat!

Image credits: Justine Tyerman

Story credits: http://www.oversixty.co.nz/travel/domestic-travel/2017/09/a-guide-to-skiing-in-wanaka/

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Cardrona Alpine Resort, Wanaka, wins the vote…

BY  ON NEW ZEALAND

The conversation, standing by the outside fire at the Cardrona pub drinking tummy-warming gluhwein and feasting on wedges with naughty sour cream, went something like this.

Should we have our fourth consecutive day at Cardrona… or ski somewhere else?

We knew the snow cover at Cardrona was phenomenal, the weather pattern was stable and there would be no melt-factor overnight because it was freezing cold… so the whole mountain would be just as perfect the next day as it was the previous three.

Skiing in Cardrona

Perfect snow and weather conditions at Cardrona Alpine Resort

A perfect day at Cardrona Alpine Resort 
© Cardrona Alpine Resort

There was a bit of dissention in the ranks and the words ‘variety’ and ‘challenge’ were bandied around a few times but by the second gluhwein and plate of wedges, the vote was for Cardrona.

The consensus was: why take a risk when you know the whole mountain will be groomed to perfection with acres of squeaky corduroy, there will be no sheets of ice, the sun will be shining from a cloudless day, the chorizo on the pizza at Captains Cafe will be crispy, the cider will be chilled and refreshing, the lifties will be friendly and funny, offering sunblock to everyone… and you will have FUN.

The reward for our faithfulness was a couple of god-sent inches of fluffy, light powder from a quick southerly change that blew in from heaven overnight and had vanished by morning.

Such conditions create a degree of madness in skiers and snowboarders. The whole mountain had a grin on its face – including the pink elephant in the lift queue.

Skiing in Cardrona New Zealand

You see some strange sights on a bluebird day at Cardrona

We had timed our trip to perfection. It was the lead-up to the Winter Games so while we travelled up the Whitestar Express we were entertained by the world’s top skiers and snowboarders practising heart-stopping, death-defying aerials in the terrain park directly below us.

Skiing in Cardrona New Zealand
The world’s top skiers and snowboarders competing at the Jossi Wells Invitational at Cardrona. 
© Cardrona Alpine Resort

The world’s top skiers and snowboarders competing at the Jossi Wells Invitational at Cardrona. 
© Cardrona Alpine Resort

They never seemed to fall despite the flips and twirls they executed at great height and speed.

One day, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.

Overnight, an Audi Quattro had appeared in a triangular perspex case just below the top terminal of the Whitestar Express.

Snowboarders were leaping over it and scooting along a bar at the apex of the triangle, whooping with glee. Everyone was intrigued by how the vehicle got there. A brilliant promo for Audi, the sponsors of the games.

A competitor at the Winter Games skiing across the top of the top of the Audi Quattro 
© Cardrona Alpine Resort

We witnessed la crème de la crème of skiers and snowboarders but did not have to battle the crowds that were due to descend on the region the following week. We had primo weather too… and they did not.

The long weekend was something of a first for us, the only time we have ever dared to take a risk and wait until the conditions were perfect before heading south rather than planning months in advance.

As soon as we heard those magical words: Snow-To-Low-Levels, we jumped on the Air NZ website, found some seriously-cheap airfares from Gisborne to Queenstown return, emailed JUCY Rentals to book us a 4WD with chains and a roof-rack, rented gear from Outside Sports and called our daughter and her fiancé in Sydney to meet us for a long weekend in Wanaka.

They managed to get even cheaper airfares and got to Queenstown before us on a direct flight from Sydney.

Chris with our 4WD JUCY Rental – ready to go!

Skiing in Cardrona New Zealand
Skiing in Cardrona New Zealand

Winter sunrise at Lake Wanaka

We skied the entire mountain from boundary to boundary and everything in between. It had been years since we’d skied the Secret Shute on the extreme right of the mountain (looking up) and it was brilliant – untouched powder and the whole piste to ourselves.

And our last run each day was the scenic Queenstown Return and Skyline track along the extreme left boundary with spectacular views of the Southern Alps, the Wakatipu Basin and my childhood holiday home, Arrowtown.

Riding Cardrona’s new Chondola lift

Just for fun, we rode the ‘Chondy’, Cardrona’s smart new McDougall’s Express Chondola lift – a chair and gondola combo – to the top of the mountain, and sat in beanbags in the sun at the Vista Bar.

Skiing in Cardrona

Cardrona’s new Chondola, a gondola-chairlift combo – in operation 
© Cardrona Alpine Resort

Skiing in Cardrona New Zealand

Cardrona’s new Chondola, a gondola-chairlift combo – in operation 
© Cardrona Alpine Resort

We even had a glass of Mumm to toast Sophie and Doug’s engagement. It looked and felt like somewhere in the European Alps. We reminisced about the 35 or so years we had skied at Cardrona and the gentle slopes where our two little girls had learned to ski. Sophie was purring with pride to show off her mountain to her Sydney fiancé who graciously conceded Kiwi snow was far superior to Aussie snow.

These days, there’s a sophisticated new bar called The Lounge by the clock tower where you can sit outside and have drinks on a deck or ski in for coffee at the slope-side window.

Cardrona has certainly changed over the years we’ve skied there but it’s still the friendliest, safest of resorts where the philosophy seems to be to streamline things for skiers, snowboarders and tourists, not create obstacles or challenges.

Skiing in Cardrona New Zealand

In skiers’ heaven – fresh snow and sunshine at Cardrona

Skiing in Cardrona New Zealand

Bria and Luke, the friendly lifties at Cardrona’s Whitestar Express. Love those T-shirts

Skiing in Cardrona New Zealand

Cardrona is all about fun. 
Staff member Kelly Spiers entertaining kids in her Cardrona Loves You 
© Cardrona Alpine Resort

The latest T-shirt says it all: Cardrona Loves You.

As per usual we booked our trip with www.cardrona.com, www.outsidesports.co.nz, www.jucy.co.nz, www.airnz.com

Flying out of Queenstown

Flying in and out of Queenstown is breath-taking. Beneath the wing is Aorangi-Mt Cook and the Southern Alps.

mage credits: Justine Tyerman

Story credits: https://travelmemo.com/australia/new-zealand/cardrona-alpine-resort-chondola-wanaka

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