Over the next five days the New Zealand Cycle Classic is occurring in the Wairarapa. A friend of Qwik Kiwi, Ironman athlete Chris Sanson is riding the tour for the fifth time. Each day he will be giving a qwik interview (Qwik-View) that will be posted here at 7pm. You will gain a Qwik insight into the life of a Tour rider in a multi-stage, multi-day race. Chris is a top level Iron-distance athlete having placed in the top ten in BOTH Challenge Wanaka and Ironman Taupo last year. In this years Tour Chris is riding for the Bike Barn Team.
QK: Chris, you have done the New Zealand Cycle Classic (NZCC) a number of times now. It is a regular part of your season. How many times have you completed the event? How have you gone each year you have competed?
CS: I have done the tour in 2007 and 2008 when it was in Wellington. And then again in 2014 and 2015 when it was in Palmerston North. Every year I have finished mid pack. Its always a hard ask when riding in a composite team to ride high in GC (General Classification).
QK: Doing a big week of cycling like you get at the NZCC seems to give you a great training stimulus leading into other events such as Ironman. Have you noticed any connection between your performance at NZCC and then at Iron-distance races?
QK: As a triathlete, do the pure cyclists give you grief or banter? How did that change when Tom Davidson rode off the front with Hayden Roulston and Jack Bauer at the Elite Cycling Nationals in 2014?
CS: This week I try to keep my triathlete status under raps. Even though Tom did what he did, triathletes still have a bad rap with cyclist. To be honest I can see why. Luckily for me I came from a cycling background so can fit in well.
QK: What role are you playing in the Bike Barn team? And what do you hope to achieve in the tour?
CS: With a few young guys in the team I will bring some direction and help create a good team culture. As the racing goes, each role will change every day depending on how we are feeling. Hopefully I can spend a day in one of the breaks if I’m feeling good.
QK: Tomorrows stage is a 123km from Masterton out to Gladstone where you complete three 30km circuits before returning back to Masterton. What do you foresee as challenges in this stage?
CS: As it’s only 123k it will be all go from the start. Everyone will have fresh legs so the challenge will be to start near the front and try and make the days break. This is harder than it sounds.
QK: Good luck for the next few days. I am excited to share your story over the coming days.