Simon Yates sent through this write-up on the Kiwi Crusade:
“There has been many adventure races in the Coromandel, but the 2016 Kiwi Crusade was the first Mt Bike Stage race there over 7 days total, looping from waterfront Tauranga up to Cape Colville & back.
Organiser, Darryl Gove supplied the Club with 4 team entries. The 7 day passes went to the Club’s XC 2015 winners – Tad ( passed onto Rob for being the race venue host) , and to Sarah Russell who had a fine first stage race. Bruce & Barry; Jeremy & I made up the 3Dayers.
The Trails were a mix of some fine singletrack ( McLarens ; Whangamata parks ) ; Tauranga pathway; Kaimai tracks; Hauraki Rail trail; Coro back dirt roads; closed Forest roads; and some connecting local and highway seal. Ranging from 80 to 120 km, over 4 – 6 hours, a day : pretty doable by most riders with a little training. The daily courses are up on Strava.
Cyclone Winston pounded the rain down on Days 2,3 into 4.
On the Day 6 , we carried bikes thru the top jungle over the Ranges. But we had the benefit of rainstorm at the Wires Road downhill , as the rain had cleaned all the mud off from the sandstone. Wires really is an over-looked and under-rated 5* premier backcountry trail ~ it was my first return back there since 1986 on a DR250. The Club ride had it a lot tuffer in the mud at Wires here in 2012 –
There was good ex-cyclone surf rolling in at the Whangamata and Waihi Beach stopovers, perfect for a post-ride massage. The lads went swimming with Dolphins in the dawn of Day 7. I slept in and just got wasp stings later on instead.
There was plenty of race footage filmed every day, being edited now for an upcoming Sky Sports TV slot.
Darryl is clearly passionate about this fully catered Stage-race format, and took on the massive organising task. There was plenty to discuss on that level but the bottom line was – Everyone loved the daily courses and the rider company with a home-base every afternoon.
Overall winners were Bevan Spratt & Bobby Dean; the first female in was Sarah Russell.
So Cheers for pulling off such a big new event , especially in our scenic back-yard.
Big Thanks also to all the local town volunteers, the local Mt Bike clubs for their trails, and the sponsors.
Watch out for it moving next to the Motu/ East Cape region, for the 2017 Kiwi Crusade.”