A friend of Qwik Kiwi, Brett Grieve is riding in the Tour of Southland for the second time. Brett is an officer in the NZ Army based in Burnham and normally rides for PKF Cycling in the Calder Stewart Elite Cycling Series. We will be publishing a daily interview with Brett after each stage to give you an insight into ‘Life in the Peloton‘.
QK: The SBS Bank Tour of Southland is one of New Zealand’s premier cycling events. What has your involvement been at this level of cycling previously?
BG: I was initially going to compete in 2014, but got deployed to Antarctica that summer so had to step out. That was with Team Pure South. Last year I rode for Team Cromwell, which was a great outfit. Great support and top riders. I was hoping to ride for Cromwell again, but unfortunately they aren’t participating.
QK: What team are you riding for and how did you get to be part of that team?
BG: Team ITM. It’s a composite team, so I entered individually and Bruce Ross, the tour organiser, places people in teams. I linked up with Frank Sutton from Hamilton who was also in the same situation, so we were placed together and means we have a pretty solid squad.
QK: Does the team have any aims/goals for the tour that you are happy to share in a public forum?
BG: Too early to tell. We meet tonight for the first time and will be discussing what we might want to achieve. Pretty sure we are not a GC team though!
QK: What are your personal goals for the coming week?
BG: Personal goals are to perhaps go for KOM or Sprint. I would need to get lucky and get in the right breaks for that. Silver jersey is a possibility but I’m not sure who else is in that category.
Results are super hard to get at this level, so while we will aim to be there, fundamentally I want to make sure we have a good team dynamic and ride smart and just make the most of the week. That is achievable regardless 🙂
QK: You’ve had a reasonable build up leading into the Tour. What have you achieved training and racing wise that made you feel confident committing to riding the tour?
BG: Yeah having a good build up is really important. Last year I peaked too early (in August) and ended up sick for three weeks just before the tour. This year, with the help of my coach Wayne Girdlestone from VTC Online, I have peaked at the right time. My 20 minute power is 5 Watts higher than my previous PB and I am back down to my race weight of 73-74kg so they are the real objective indicators that I’m ready.
I’ve had a good season in the Calder Stewart Elite series finishing top 10 GC so my tactical awareness is improving also. Southland is a more difficult race to work out tactically, with more teams and stronger riders so it will be a great challenge to find those sneaky opportunities!
QK: Finally all the best for tomorrows prologue.
BG: Thanks Ray. It’s going to hurt for sure!!