The morning of the Elite & U23 Men’s Road Race dawned and the music started pumping at 6am. I’ve gotta say, it was great to finally have everyone up early at once (and fizzing right from the get go!) and to not have to sneak around making breakfast and packing lunch before slinking out the door at 7am to take whoever was racing that day out to the course!
As one van and trailer load went to the airport and one van load and Deb McKenzie’s car (bless her!) headed to the course it promised to be a day of hurt for the boys, excitement and a few laughs for the rest of us.
Here are Brehan, Dillon and Brad to tell you about the day’s events.
Editor’s Note – this is a heavily censored version for public consumption
Once we got to the race start the boys began to get ready - pumping up tyres, helping each other out to put their shammy cream on and of course the Southland pre-race ritual, Group Cuddles.
The race kicked off at 9am with “Big Gay” Brehan Cairns, “Egyptian” Brad Tuhi, “The Almighty” Stu MacDonald, “Surfer” Matt Dodds and “Dbuzz” Dillon Bennett, (or as most people know him, Captain Awesome).
From the get go there was a break of 6 riders gone. No big threats were in here so we weren’t too worried to let it go for a bit. Suddenly, it got out to 5mins and we were all started to wonder if we had missed the main move. Brad had tried very early on to get there but couldn’t quite make it. DBuzz and Big Gay Brehan decided to try and make something happen a bit later on and got away for a bit, getting out to about a minute on the bunch and gaining a bit of time on the breakaway.
Once caught, Dbuzz tried to get into moves for the rest of the race but could not find anything that would stick. Previously, The Almighty Stu and Surfer Dodds pulled out after giving pro tour style assistance to the boys. The Almighty Stu even rode himself till he was sick.
Egyptian Brad was in the final sprint finish for 2nd, but with Simon Binney up the road, he was unable to get to him and Binney took the win in fantastic style. Egyptian Brad ended with 4th, he was the fastest sprinter in the bunch but just got a bit boxed in!
The boys road very hard today, they all wanted to win so bad but couldn’t quite get the medals. They all deserved it.
Once home and group shower was completed, we packed our bikes and got ready for dinner – another BBQ and cook up of all the left overs.
The boys were excited to show everyone the synchronised swimming routine they had been practising in the kick-ass 37 degree pool. It was quite a sight and one participant even lost his swimming togs in an elaborate manoeuvre. It might have been on purpose but no names will be mentioned. (Editor’s note: names were mentioned, however have been removed, along with a number of nudity references to protect reputations. What goes on tour stays on tour boys!)
There are 6 beds in the chalet that we are staying in and not much space. This has meant that Brad, Brehan, Matt and Dillon have had to share a single bed between the four of them. Although strangely, that meant three beds were unused each night. Saves making them the next morning though. (Editor’s note: a number of spooning references have been removed at this point. See earlier point about what goes on tour!)
DT also known as Dale Tye has been a great help to the team. (Editor’s note: derogatory references to former coach Ross Machejefski’s height have been removed at this point, eg: “Try grabbing a bottle off him at a feed station ... may as well leave the bottle on the ground” – sorry Rossco that was too good to leave out.)
Thank you lads ... back to you Dale.
We have had a fantastic trip and I hope you’ve enjoyed or adventures. I am very proud with how this group has worked together to deliver some outstanding results and to represent Cycling Southland with pride.
There are also a few other people to thank – Stewart Morley, Debz McKenzie, Angela Carpenter and Michelle Kergozou, Matt Dodds as well as the Almighty Stu MacDonald. Thank you all.
All up it’s been a brilliant trip, loads of fun – we have laughed till we cried each night and some really strong results. YEAH SOUTHLAND!!!!
We can’t wait till next year already! Queenstown – get ready!
Thanks for reading and all your support
Editor Nick’s Note:
In closing this hugely successful Club Nationals campaign I want to formally give special thanks to Dale for her outstanding work.
Not only did she single-handedly do all of the planning work, including organising accommodation, flights, transport and financing, but she managed the team, scheduling each day’s activities almost to the minute, coordinated and communicated with all the riders and families, and along with the support crew mentioned above, created the environment for an excellent week of results for the club.
Oh and in her spare time she made sure that we were kept informed all the way with outstanding updates during the races on her daily Tour diaries. That, my friend, is a great week’s work.
You and all of the team (on the bike and off) should reflect on an outstanding job well done.
Thanks you all so much.