Kiwi Crusaders

Kiwi Crusade Start Line. Photo by Joshua Beaven

Kiwi Crusade Start Line. Photo by Joshua Beaven

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  –

https://aucklandmtb.co.nz/2012/03/21/away-ride-wires-road/

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.”

Kiwi Crusade Club Riders

Kiwi Crusade Club Riders

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