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January Race Wrap Up

January Race Wrap Up

 By Reuben Thompson- Ambassador

In January I continued to build on my training, clocking in my biggest bike week ever as well as a good block of swimming and running. I was very privileged to do some training with Youth Olympic Triathlon Champion Aaron Barclay and now have Aaron helping me out with my triathlon plan and am also on board with the Willbike Cycle Coaching Team with James Williamson.
Even more exciting was the arrival of my new bike, a 2017 S-Works Tarmac. It is incredible! 

 Outside Sports athlete

Aboard my old steed I raced three final times in January. My first race was on the 2nd of January, the Dunstan Tri. I came away with third place in the “under 18 category” and fifth place overall.
The second race was the Dunstan Cycle Challenge. The 96 km race was a bit of a battle after missing the break. I worked quite a lot to keep the pace high in the chase group. With five guys out in front I was sprinting for the sixth place overall and for the second under the age of 20 in the final. After two hours and 20 minutes of racing I put in a pretty poor sprint to take the 11th place overall, but the second place under 20 in a field of 170 riders.
My final race on my 2016 Specialized Tarmac Expert was an 80km club handicap race from Hawea to Makarora and back. I was on scratch 33 minutes back on the first group off. Our five man group worked well to catch up with the riders ahead around 40km in. This was only a small bunch of riders though and there still a few groups up ahead. Two really quick A grade riders rode away to claim first and second while I soloed for 35km before catching all but one other rider. I was now in a three up sprint for fourth place and I came away with fifth in what was probably the hardest two hours of riding I’ve ever done.

My new bike started off sharply. My first ride on it was from Queenstown to Wanaka and back and aside from the rain and some snow on the top of the crown range it was great fun. I raced it the following day at the Cromwell to Alexandra handicap race. Again placed on scratch our four man group had to make up 27 minutes to the leaders over 39km. I came close to catching them but fell short by around 200 meters. I did however take the fastest time of the day after attacking on a short but steep hill to ride away solo from my group. My last race of January was a 35km mountain bike from Clyde to Bannockburn through farmland with 993 meters of climbing. I surprised myself to come away with 3rd place ahead of some very big fit lads who were on form one week out of The Pioneer. 

 Outside Sports athlete

In February I will be racing the first race of my secondary schools season at the southland secondary schools triathlon champs as well as the challenge Wanaka sprint tri as part the NZ Junior try series. I will also be riding for the first time as part of the Central-Benchmakers Willbike Cycle Team in Round 1 of the Calder Stewart Cycling Elite Series. 




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December Wrap Up

The Lake Hayes Triathlon..

took place on the 27th of December.  The race went really well for me. I swam reasonably well coming out of the water around two minutes behind the leaders. I enjoyed the bike on home roads chasing down the majority of my rivals and coming of the bike in 4th overall and 3rd in the 15-18 category. About 1km onto the run I caught a runner and pushed past putting a gap in before the turn around point. I held the gap into the finish, to finish 3rd overall and 2nd in my age group.

 Reuben Thompson Outside Sports Athlete

I have also been participating in a whole host of cycling events held by our local club on Sundays which has built my confidence loads. I have been racing A grade where I have picked up a 2nd place in the Speargrass Flat 60km Road Race, a 3rd in the Ripponvale Circuit Road Race and a 10th in the Hath’s Trophy Handicap race in which I started 30 minutes back on scratch. 


In December I was also very privileged to ride with two olympians.

The first was Annemiek Van Vleuten. Annemiek was mere kilometers from winning gold at the rio olympics before crashing on a sharp right hander on the descent which also took out some of the big names in the mens road race. She is also current and 2014 Dutch Time Trial Champion and placed 5th at the World Championship Time Trial. We rode together three times. Once just the two of us from Queenstown to Alexandra, again joined by Olympic 4th place getter and former team pursuit world champion Pieter Bulling and L&M Group Ricoh rider Guy Carter from Queenstown to Glenorchy and back and once more up the Crown Range. This experience was really awesome. 

 Reuben Thompson Outside Sports Athlete

In January I will continue to build with my training and hope to race the Dunstan Triathlon and the Dunstan Cycle Challenge as well as the club cycle races on Sundays. I will also have a new bike and gear arriving from Specialized NZ so hopefully I will back up the need for all this fancy gear with some results. 


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Neil and Steve rode 2394 km’s from Cape Reinga to Bluff

Neil and Steve rode 2394 km’s across New Zealand from Cape Reinga to Bluff in 16 Days, a total of 85 hours and 30 minutes. Here are a few questions we just had to ask Neil, Queenstown Store manager at Outside Sports about his epic adventure:

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports


1)      What inspired you to do this amazing journey?

As per most adventures - by one too many beers in Atlas one night! – it has been on Steve and my bucket lists for many years now – we both kind of expected the other one to back down but neither did - next thing you knew we were at Cape Reinga with a hell of a long way to go.

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

Day 1: Cape Reinga, North Island, NZ.

2)      How long did it take you?

We were riding for 16 days. We didn’t schedule a rest day but unfortunately on day 3, riding into Auckland we hit a diesel covered roundabout and we both came off our bikes. It didn’t feel as if we had done any major damage to either ourselves or our bikes but when we started riding the next day, Steve realised that he had torn a muscle in his knee and was struggling to put any pressure on his right leg. We made it thorough to Hamilton but had to stop for a day so that he could get some physio – he got it taped and some acupuncture done and we set off a day later – not sure how his knee would cope, but it seemed to be a bit better and after a couple of days of easier riding it came good again - which was a pretty huge relief to the both of us.

3)      What was your longest day (kms?)

It was from Whangarei to Auckland. 184km’s and also our biggest days climbing with 2198m climbing. We were doing between 150 and 170km’s on most days. Interestingly the north island was hillier and longer than the south island. We climbed 10,000m in the North Island and only 8,000m in the south island. I always thought that the south island was going to be way hillier than the north.

4)      What did you pack for your trip?

Very little – just one set of riding gear and a change of clothes off the bike plus a few bike spares and a toothbrush. All of the gear that we carried on the bikes and the bike bags themselves weighed less than 5kg.

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

5)      Where did you stay during your trip?

A mixture of friends houses, classic old kiwi hotels and backpackers

6)      What was the most useful bit of kit that you took with you?

Either the actual packs that we used – meant that we were able to do the ride super lightweight or ‘Butt Butter’ chamois cream!

7)      If you could have taken something else with you what would it be?

Would possibly have changed out he bike seat for a slightly more comfortable one – it took about 1000km’s before the seat became anything like comfortable!

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

8)      What was the highlight of the trip?

Riding wise it was the west coast of the south island – amazing terrain, hardly and traffic and absolutely perfect weather. But for me it was also seeing the far north of the north island – amazing part of the country and incredible just how friendly everyone was to us along the way – it makes you realise why people love NZ so much!

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

9)      What were the biggest challenges along the way?

There were a few – mainly getting back on the bike each morning! Also surviving the logging trucks on SH1 heading into Auckland – was definitely glad to get that behind me. Probably the biggest physical challenge was riding up Bluff hill right at the end of the trip – 24% gradient in the last few km of the whole trip – we were both nearly puking at the end of that one

10)   What bike did you do this epic journey on?

I did it on a Specialized Tarmac Pro and Steve did it on a Trek Madone

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

Specialized Tarmac Pro

 Our total distance that we rode was 2394 km’s and we climbed 18,377 vertical metres and were riding our bikes for a total of 85hours and 30 minutes.

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

Day 16: Bluff, South Island NZ.

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The Alpine Classic Road Cycle race 2015

The Alpine Classic Road Cycle race 2015 will be held on Saturday 14th March 2015. Registration and briefing start from 7:30am at The Fork and Tap Ale House (in the beer garden) in Arrowtown, South Island NZ.

The Southern Lakes Mutlisport Club, closely linked with the Wakatipu cycle club, specifically organises one race each year- The Alpine Classice Road Cycle race. The Southern Lakes Mutlisport Club rides together every Sunday throughout summer.

The Alpine Classic Road Cycle race is open to all those able to ride a bike – either road or mountain bike. Individuals and teams of two can participate in the 108km ride from Arrowtown to Wanaka and return via the Crown Range. The Crown Range is New Zealand’s highest State Highway offering challenging uphill (1687m vertical gain) sections and exciting downhill’s through some of the most spectacular scenery the country has to offer.

Alpine classic road cycle race outside sports nz

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The Milford Mountain Classic 2015, New Zealand.

The Milford Mountain Classic 2015, New Zealand.

For the tough Roadies out there- the Milford Mountain Classic in New Zealand is a must do bike race for serious road cyclists.

Milford Sound, in the South Island of New Zealand, has been described as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". A picturesque start to this 120km challenging road bike race. The Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic Cycle Race begins in Milford at 4.15pm and ends in Te Anau, 24th January 2015. It is anticipated that elite riders will take approximately three hours and recreational riders up to six hours to complete the race.

The Milford Mountain Classic 2014, New Zealand. 

Tsukasa and Jim at the Milford Classic 2014. Jim holds the 2014 Milford Classic “King of the Mountain” title.

Along the way competitors will endeavour the initial gruelling climb from sea level to 940m in just 21km. The race initially climbs 620m over the first 18km before steepening to scale an additional 320m in just 3kms, including the 1.2km through the iconic Homer Tunnel; the location of the King of the Mountain title. Equating to an average rate of climb of around 11%. Another steady climb looms from the Hollyford turnoff at the 29km mark, ascending to The Divide – a 150m gain in 3.5km. From there, the race follows the Eglinton Valley downstream with a net drop in altitude of 360m to 220m above sea level at the Te Anau finish. The only climb of significance is 150m over 1.5km, out of the Retford Stream Valley onto the Te Anau Downs.

The Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic Cycle Race is a fund-raiser for Fiordland College, local high school. Its original concept was embraced by the Te Anau Project Group – a sub-committee of Destination Fiordland with a mandate to develop iconic events for the area – and transformed into reality with the expertise of Sport Southland and Cycling Southland.

Stock up on 20% off deals at Outside Sports Te Anau NZ*:

20% off GU Energy Gels

Gu Energy Gels, Outside Sports NZ

20% off Sweet Cheeks Butt Balm

Sweet Cheeks Butt Balm, Outside Sports NZ

For further information and to enter online, click here.

*subject to availability and promotion period. Promotion dates will be advised in store at Outside Sports Te Anau.

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