A friend of Qwik Kiwi, Michael Torckler is riding in the Tour of Southland again having ridden in the event seven times previously finishing as high as fourth overall. Michael has previously won the Tour of Wellington on GC and the KOM at the Tour of Utah. We will be publishing a daily interview with Michael after each stage to give you an insight into ‘Life in the Peloton‘.
QK: Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for us. First proper day of the tour. I understand that today was pretty relaxed for the first 100km until the winds came from the side. The wind can have a devastating effect on the peloton and Southland is known for it. Had you predicted the winds and how they would impact the field?
MT: You always assume there could be some wind even on a calm day. Today was a relatively calm day but there was enough wind to split the race when some pressure was applied. The results are typically pretty devastating when the wind blows and today we saw a big selection made because of it.
QK: What was the team tactics for Vantage Windows & Doors this morning prior to the stage commencing? How did these change on the road as the stage developed?
MT: For half the Vantage Windows & Doors boys it was the biggest bike race they have contested so just getting through and getting a feel for the peloton was their aim. For the rest of us it was pretty clear when the split was going to happen so we positioned ourselves to make sure we didn’t miss the action and we came away with two of us making the split.
QK: With both yourself and Hamish Bond finishing at the front of the field how does this determine team tactics and goals going forwards?
MT: Its good having two of us close on GC and we will try to use that to our advantage. I think it will be more of what we had today with splits in the wind that will determine the outcome of this tour.
QK: There is a bit of a climb in tomorrow’s 150km stage to Te Anau over Blackmont. This has sometimes been a decisive point in the race when this stage was towards the end of the tour. How will it play a part now that it is effectively on day two?
MT: It could still have the same effect causing a split but I think it is unlikely to looking at the conditions forecast. We will be prepared for carnage to be unleashed regardless.
QK: What are your personal goals for the Tour of Southland this year?
MT: I am still unsure how I will pull up each day so at this stage I want to have a good crack at a stage. Coronet suits me so hopefully I have some good legs that day.
QK: Thanks for taking your time to answer the questions for everyone.
Here is Michael’s Strava file:
The Vantage Windows & Doors team are sponsored by:
Thanks to the team at Tineli for arranging this interview.