Constant racing through the night has kept GODZone competitors pumped for action through Canterbury today as they enter day three of the nonstop expedition event.
The leading teams have had little to no sleep during the past 31 hours as they near completion of the stage three 160km mountain bike leg from Castle Hill in Arthurs Pass to Lake Clearwater.
“ Conditions have been perfect for the first day and night since we restarted the race at Mt White Station in the early hours of yesterday morning,” says GODZone Race Director Adam Fairmaid. “Teams have been moving steadily forward and while the field is now widely spread everyone is thankfully going in the right direction.”
Chris Forne, Simone Maier, Marcel Hagener and Emily Wilson of team Perpetual Guardian moved into first position overnight taking the lead from team Tiki Tour but on the downhill ride in the last hour Tiki Tour are back in front.
“There is a real battle starting to develop here. Following the GPS tracking you can see that Chris and his team got the jump on Tiki Tour in the early hours of this morning probably while Tiki were sleeping when Tiki stopped for some time and could have been napping while Perpetual Guardian rode past,” says Fairmaid.
“It’s not unusual for the top teams to have little sleep as part of their racing strategy but eventually they will be forced to stop somewhere and grab a few hours. The advantage of having stage one finish at the Christchurch Adventure Park on Sunday was that they all got to bank 4 or 5 hours sleep before the restart which is unusual in this type of adventure racing.”
The main action today will be teams clearing the massive bike ride leg and then heading out into the mountain trek from Lake Clearwater navigating their way to check points on the Big Hill and Palmer Mountain Ranges.
“We calculate it will take the leading teams 21 hour to complete this section and the slower teams could take up to 30 hours or more. It’s a stunning area of Hakatere Conservation Park with steep climbs, extensive scree fans with tussock and Matagouri in the gullies and lower elevations,” says Fairmaid.
“They might come across the occasional Chamois, Red Deer or Tahr and there are some good huts along the way that will be a welcome sight. It’s solid Canterbury country up there and the teams will be awed by the scenery.”
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