The first 40km were reasonably sedate, the Elite guys took it easy but the Masters contenders are in full blown race mode. The heat and hydration played a huge role again today and Mike and Garry chugged down their two bottles in order to refill at the 40km aid station. No one else stopped but our boys were back in the bunch pretty quick.
The plan was to pull a sneaky move and blast through A2 unseen. It worked and the boys went straight into 3rd overall at the base of the climb. To their credit Minter and Ian worked hard and within a few k's it was neck and neck again. Mike Blewitt is enjoying the spectacle of 40+ year old blokes smashing each other to bits and quipped "Title fight right here!"
The climb was pretty tough and it was hot, very hot and pretty steep too. Towards the top Garry's knee started to give him trouble so it was Mike's turn to lend some support. That's what is so good about this form of team racing. The scenery from the top was just amazing with snow capped mountains and the pristine Lake Ohau laid out before us.
The descent seemed to go down forever like a zig-zagging gash across the mountain side and the final 30km flat Alps2Ocean trail was really too pretty for racing.
Mike and Garry got pipped for 3rd on the line but are holding a good buffer at 2nd overall.
Tomorrow is the big one, Queen stage 3800vm over 107km. It will be the ultimate test of man, machine and mind. Let's hope our boys wake up fresh, it's time to motor.