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April 2016

Nationals Road Cycling

Alexandra hosted the 2016 Vittoria Club Road Race Nationals.

There was a road race and a time trial for all ages to compete in, from U15 to masters. I didn’t have the best time in the time trial on the first day. I was 23rd in the U17 race but 6th of the kids in the first year of the two year age bracket.

Reuben Thompson Outside Sports Athlete

The road race was on Day 2. It was 60km with a semi hilltop finish (up a then a 400m flat to the line).

The race was incredibly close with pretty much all the boys together to the base of the hill. I sat at the back for most of the first two and a half laps before coming through the bunch to the front. I hit the hill right at the front of the bunch and started pushing the pace. I got passed by a few guys who attacked and took a bit to catch them again.

Reuben Thompson Outside Sports Athlete

We rode towards the top and on the bend there was a crash.

As the crash happened another attack went off and me and 12 boys went with it. One was dropped and then we started to split. I didn’t have the sprint and the group split before the finish. I placed 11th and 4th out of the first year guys.

I couldn’t be more happy with how far I’ve come this year.

I was 25th at Nationals last year and that was in my proper age group. Couldn’t thank Outside Sports, Thijs Hubber and my parents for all the help this season. My bike is pimping. I will be going up to Christchurch for South Island Champs in July to begin next season.

Reuben Thompson Outside Sports Athlete

By Reuben

Photo Credit: Barking Cat Photography. 

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After an unfortunate trampoline accident....

Walter Peak walk.

After an unfortunate trampoline accident left me with a bruised thumb and unable to ride my bike (again) I found that I was fresh out of excuses and finally my girlfriend, and general life inspiration, was going to manage to drag me up the mountain that has been dominating the view from our front room window for the last year, Walter Peak.

Walter Peak Tom Lamb Outside Sports NZ

A quick few phone calls and it was all arranged, a friend would give us a lift over in his boat and then we had seven and a half hours to get up, back down and around the bay to Walter Peak station to catch the TSS Earnslaw back to Queenstown. If we missed that boat we had the choice of calling Taz to get his boat back in the water and come collect us, or waiting until the 9:15pm boat back, neither of which I was all that excited about.

Walter Peak Tom Lamb Outside Sports NZ

The walk up took us less time than we had anticipated with very little that could have gone any more smoothly. Once we got near the top the route we had seen described was quite clear and with a little bit of scrambling we would make the summit in a little over 3 hours.

It felt so good to look back at our house from the top and see the view looking in the opposite direction to the one we are so familiar with.

Walter Peak Tom Lamb Outside Sports NZ

Next came the walk down. My least favorite part of any walk in the hills. The scrambling was a little more awkward in the reverse direction but still something that a novice mountaineer such as myself could do without any problem. Once that part was over it was just steep tussock bashing for a few hours, by the end of which my quads were ready to give up. However I managed to struggle on and get to the lake shore. The thirty minute flat walk back around the bay to Walter Peak station was far easier and probably did my legs a little good in the long run, it didn’t seem like it at the time though!

Walter Peak Tom Lamb Outside Sports NZ

We got to the end of our walk with over an hour to spare so sat on the beach and finished our snacks waiting for our boat to come in, a short trip back to Queenstown and we found our way to Atlas beer cafe for some hard earned beer and chips.

#WhereAdventuresBegin

By Tom Lamb

Photo Credit: Tom Lamb

 

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Last Triathlon of the season

The National Triathlon Championships

My last triathlon of the season was the national triathlon champs where I participated in the Individual Tri, the Teams Tri and the Individual Aquathon. 

I placed 4th in the Tri where I had concentrated my effort over the other two events.

Reuben Thompson Outside Sports NZ

It was my first year in the age group, racing U14 last year so I’m really stoked with my race.

My bike set up was really good and the bike course suited me well with the descent climb at the start of each lap. I had another really solid bike split, to my advantage it was on home ground at Jacks Point, meaning I could get a lot of training in prior to the event. Saying that, there was a course change which I only found when I started the race so my splits were off my training times and goal times but the more time on the bike the better!

Reuben Thompson Outside Sports NZ

I came out of the swim in 25th so I had work to do!

I pushed the bike and came off in 8th. The run was going be hard as I had a big pack of boys on my heels that I had passed on the bike. I had got to 4th by start of the second and final lap where we were straight up the hill again. 

At the top of the hill I looked back to a bunch of at least 10 boys and knew I had work ahead of me.

I attacked the downhill with the support of Joe Cheifetz (who manned the drink station) as my main motivator and only had 500m to the finish. I had broken the pack down and starting to form a gap before the finish line. There was some confusion at the line with placing's because of penalties etc. I had got 4th and equivently 2nd if there was a U15 age group.

Reuben Thompson Outside Sports NZ

The teams tri went great too, I didn’t have the freshest legs though after the smashing that morning. The Aquathon (Swim-Run) went well to but after the swim I was well back and had no bike to catch me up, I was useless. I was 24th out of the water and made up 8 spots in the run to finish in 13th. On the positive I was 7 seconds off the fastest run split so I know where the work needs to be done for next season.

So that’s it for the tri season. I have the NZ road cycling champs next week and I’m not really sure how well I’ll do as I am yet to race age group cycling since mid year last year.

A huge thanks to Thijs Hubber at Protégé Coaching for the work he’s done with me, I wouldn’t be where I am without him and Outside Sports for my one and only love - my Specialized Tarmac. 

#WhereAdventuresBegin

By Reuben Thompson

Photo Credit: Barking Cat Photography 

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