This year, the Get-Fit-In-4-Days plan came back into my program in the form of the Tour of New Zealand, a UCI 2.2, 5-day tour which featured teams like HTC-Highroad and the Australian, Chinese, Japanese and NZ national teams. Last year, this was a breakthrough tour for me and I finished 5th on GC. This year, I was riding the tour as a 'test' after a very frustrating period of injury and rehab. Essentially, I was just hoping to make time cut each day. I had physio permission to ride 3 stages, then assess how my quad was going before deciding whether to start the following day.
- Jo 'GC Contender' Hogan
and was led by Donna 'Supercoach' Rae-Szalinski, with Bob 'The Builder' Farley on mechanics and Sarah 'Super Soignny' Roy as team soigneur. It was an awesome crew. Jo 'Excuse me' Hogan raced like a champ and finished 7th on GC; Vicki 'Wiki Wiki' Whitelaw played the ultimate super domestique and finished 8th; and Kendelle 'Get IN MAH SPACE' Hodges almost walked away with the sprint jersey and a stage win. Respekt. For my part, I sweated spinal fluid for 3 days then came good enough on the 5th stage to bear a passing resemblance to a cyclist.
The rest of the Jayco-VIS team, though, was AWESOME. The tour started well with with Jo 'Trolley Stealer' Hogan and Vicki 'Don't tell Dave I crashed' Whitelaw nabbing 4th and 5th in stage 1 and making Donna happy that she could be 4th car in the race convoy. Bob 'BAAAAAAA' Farley earned the attention of the commissaires for making like a prom queen and standing out the sun roof of the race car. Sarah 'Positive Circle' Roy rode ahead and beat the entire field to the finish line on the first day by an hour, only to be disqualified for starting an hour early and not being entered in the race. Then she did our washing and gave us all massages. All week. Kendelle put up with me being her roommate for the week and managed not to catch anything. And Donna bought me more salty treats than I could have dreamed of. It was awesome.
Play of the week goes to Bob 'Bob-san' Farley who at the end of the week comprehensively won the Oceania Pavlova Speed Eating Championships by several lengths against a quality field. He followed up his Oceania title with a win in the Pan-Asian Pavlova Eating marathon champs later that night against the entire Japanese cycling team.
Bob could not be contacted for comment but his spokesman stated that, 'Bob has been training for this his entire life. They said it couldn't be done, but I think Bob is living proof that you can eat more than half your bodyweight in meringue. If only the greater Wellington region hadn't run out of pavlova, we might have seen history that night.'
Finally, a very big shout out to Sarah 'Frickin YEAH' Roy for all her camera work. Stay tuned for some more of Roy's work when she launches her own site - I can't wait.
*I won't tell you when but here's a hint: on stage 2 I came 62nd.