Over the next few 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 about 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. This season he is riding for the Bike Barn Team.
Monday’s Qwik-View can be found here and yesterday’s here.
QK: Hi Chris, tough day out there today, I understand. Talk us through how the day unfolded.
CS: Hi Ray, bit of a frustrating day for me. After not being the best yesterday, today was much better. My legs are slowly starting to find themselves, but luck was not on my side. The day started fast (45-50kph for the first 30kms) but no-one got away. At about 50kms two riders got up the road and the bunch was happy to let them go. The pace backed right off as we headed into the first lap of the circuit. with 9 to get though. The big teams set a steady tempo for about 7 laps before the chase started.
I was feeling ok and placed well up the bunch, however on lap 5 I punctured and it took some time to get a wheel. It took me about 15kms before I got back up to the back of the bunch. With all the turns in the circuit it’s hard work getting passed by all the team cars following the race. Once I got back on it was about 3kms later that the chase started. Being on the back was not the place to be. Riders in front of me were dropping and at that stage there’s not a lot you can do. I ended up in a bunch of about ten. A frustrating way to end the day, but hey I’m not here to win so a little time lost won’t bother me.
QK: Obviously you won’t have been as fresh today as you were yesterday. How was the body feeling this morning on the start line?
CS: Although it’s day two, I always get better as the tour goes on. Yes you don’t feel as fresh and you’re a little tired, but my legs get better every day. I always look at it as every day is a new day and you put in 100% no matter how you are feeling. With lots of hard Ironman training I tend to recover well after each day.
Chris competing at Ironman (c) Jack McKenzie Photography
QK: Tomorrows stage involves riding 40km out of town then doing 8 laps of a 12km circuit. How do you see this stage unfolding for the Bike Barn Team?
CS: With everyone finishing together again today it will be a hard day. There will be a few that want to get some time before the big stage on Saturday. I think tomorrow will be fast with lots of attacks all day. The circuit has a hill in it so that will take its toll after a few times up it.
QK: Keep up the great work riding and thanks for taking the time to reply to these questions.