In a surprise chain of events Ash, Butch and myself managed to step on the podium at the Day Night Thriller in Taupo last weekend.
Butch and I were seriously undercooked going into the event with neither of us having much riding in the legs. Ash had completed two 2-week nutritional trials at Massey University and was the opposite; he was in great shape but physically burned out from the trial. The goal of us doing the event was simply to post some half decent lap times and have a whole lot of fun doing so.
With about 5 hours to go Rhys stopped by our camp and mentioned that we were currently running in 4th place, which was a shock to all of us. I went to the timing tent to confirm and upon my arrival back at the campsite the mood changed: We went from casually enjoying the event to getting full-on serious. Pens and calculators emerged and we started plotting lap times needed to hold off the close running 5th and 6th place teams and gain 10 minutes on Kah’s team which were running 3rd.
Even with the sun going down and the trails getting dark we managed to keep the lap times consistent but seeing Kah riding past the campsite made me think they were holding us off.
We switched from double-laps to singles with about 2h left to race. I ended up drawing the short straw for completing the final lap…if I was quick I might be able to get two laps in before the 10:30pm cut-off. I pushed as hard as I could for the final lap (and set my fastest lap of the day) but we were still 3 minutes short to get that last lap in.
We wandered over to prizegiving hoping that the money went down to 5th but were shocked when Wheelworks was called up in 3rd place! We celebrated with a nice bottle of vino and I shouted the boys a big ol-fashioned breakfast fry up at the local cafe the next morning.
It was nice to get out of the workshop for a couple of day, and what better way than to ride your bike and hangout with friends? A big thanks to Ash and Butch for making it a great weekend!