Tour of Southland

Life in The Peloton: Tour of Southland Stage Three Interview with Brett Grieve

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‘.

Tour of SouthlandQK: It looks like you had a good ride, comfortably getting up the hill in the top half of the field. How did you find the stage today?

BG: It’s was quite straight forward really. Conserve and then climb flat out! There were a couple of occasions where things lit up and were in danger of splitting the field so I had to move forward and spend a bit of energy then however most of the day was pretty cruisy in the peloton. light head winds helped that immensely! I was happy with the climb, riding to my FTP and averaging 348w over 34 minutes. For me to do that on tired legs is satisfying.

QK: What was your plan once you got to the Crown Range? How did you manage and execute that plan?

BG: Yeah as above, once on Coronet Peak, I just aimed to ride at 360w. I got a bit carried away at the start and blew up a bit at the top, but this plan was largely successful. Last year my plan was to stick with the front as long as possible. That ended in tears…. much happier with this years approach. ?

QK: Tomorrow is a similar stage with a 148km ride finishing at the summit of Bluff Hill. Have you ridden up Bluff Hill previously? What are the team goals for tomorrow?

BG: Yes it is a similar dynamic however wind will be a factor in the 145km warm up to the hill. The chance of a peloton split is high so I will try and pay attention there. I think a similar approach is a good idea, ride smart and stay fresh for the final hill. I am 4 minutes and 25 seconds down on the Silver Jersey holder, so the chances of making that time up is low. Southland creates all kinds of opportunities and if I can tag along in a strong move by presently disaffected GC teams that time gap could be eliminated. A bit of divine assistance is required, but you never know what is going to happen. I’ll keep pushing to the end. The team is pretty relaxed, Frank climbs well and the shorter Bluff Hill will suit him better than Coronet. The advantage of being in a lower order team is there is not too much expectation to achieve things. We have a good camaraderie going and are enjoying riding together anyway.

QK: Because today’s plan for how you climbed up the Crown Range went so well, will you look at replicating it again on Bluff Hill?

BG: I have ridden up Bluff before and made it half way up before blowing up. I’ll probably try to muscle my way up, not worrying about power thresholds etc. I’m in good form and on a smaller hill you can often hold on quite well. Looking forward to bed now, and another exciting day of racing tomorrow!

Brett has kindly given me access to his Training Peaks data for me to review and share my thoughts on as he progresses through the Tour. Unfortunately there is an issue with his race data from Stage 2 and I won’t be reviewing his data.

Tour of Southland




Today’s stage for Brett is effectively two part’s the first 130km until the bottom of the hill and then the 9km up the hill to the summit of Crown Range.

The first 130km was reasonably easy with 38% of the total ride ridden in Brett’s Recovery Power Zone, and a total of 69% below Threshold (I am confident that Brett spent next to zero time once on the hill below his Threshold range). You can see how the intensity fluctuates (power is the pink line and heart rate is the red line) a bit particularly around the small hills (grey line is altitude). During this section Brett averaged 221 Watts, 39.9 km/hr & 89 Rpm. The Variability Index (VI) was 1.24, which indicates that his effort fluctuated a fair bit. 

Up the hill Brett rode REALLY consistently with a VI of 1.01!!! Averaging 345 Watts and a cadence of 83 Rpm for 14.4 km/hr. Although this was less than 7% of the race today, this effort created a Training Stress Score (TSS) for Brett of 53.2, but the whole stage was 245.6.

Brett’s 5min Peak Power was 397 Watts and this was done on one of the earlier hill climbs. His 30min Peak Power was 347 Watts and was obviously done on the Crown Range.

Brett showed great composure with how he rode the first section, which allowed him to have a very solid ride up the hill. He will no doubt feel his effort tomorrow, but by this stage of the race the entire peloton will also be.

A Strava link for Brett’s ride in this stage can be found here:

Previous episodes of Life in the Peloton can be found here:

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