Stage Three: Riverton to Te Anau 149km

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This week, the Oamaru Mail will be publishing local cycling enthusiast Adair Craik’s experiences through each stage of cycling’s recent Tour of Southland. Pick up tomorrow’s edition for ‘Stages four and five.’

This is usually one of the worst windswept parts of the tour- testimonies to the wind are everywhere- trees and stop signs lean permanently at 90 degrees.

Fortunately, this year there wasn’t a breath of wind.

Then the cyclists turned towards Te Anau and hit Blackmount Hill, it’s a long and hard climb of approximately 4kms.

Once the riders get to the top, they go like the clappers going down so if climbing isn’t your strength, you can easily be dropped and left in no man’s land.

There were small packs of stragglers everywhere and we were surrounded with cyclists screaming down the hill at 90km hour, weaving their way in and out of the convoy, trying desperately to get on the back of the peloton again.

The Commissaries were suddenly very busy.

Com 3 makes an announcement to a team ‘leave him alone, you can’t tow him up.’

Further warnings sounded moments later, “This is a warning. STOP towing him.”

Another minute later the guilty team received its final warning which was followed by then silence.

Silence is not so golden, It means the team vehicle and the cyclist are in the dog box.

When the results came out that particular team were suddenly relegated to the bottom and we were moving up the convoy.

If more teams used those tactics we thought, we would be up the front in no time.

Part of being Camp Mum for the week, included cooking for the team as well as massaging everyone.

It is a lesson in time in motion, two hours to cook, three to massage.

PHOTO: Adair Craik