Today was day one of the New Zealand Enduro. A combination of some of the world’s and New Zealand’s best riders, some of New Zealand's best native trails and beautiful late summer weather in an event never seen before in New Zealand.Sure, most of these top riders are here for the first Round of the EWS in Rotorua in just a few weeks, but let’s not worry about that now. Today we'll reflect on what has been an awesome first day of the NZ Enduro.
It was a lazy start with registration beginning at just after 11am with race briefing beginning at 1pm. This has allowed some riders to make the trip up for the recently completed Trans NZ Enduro. Never before have weekend warriors in New Zealand been able to throw down against the world’s best and seeing riders like Anne Caroline Chausson, Tracy Moseley, Jerome Clementz and Damien Oton mingling casually was a little surreal to say the least.
Stage One was a welcome favourite at Whites Bay outside of Blenheim, but before a rough and ragged (but fun) beech forest descent, a 600 metre climb stood before riders. A steep climb at that with calves burning well before the summit.
In an interesting take on seeding, all riders were asked to self-seed before the start, leading to a bit of a game of cat and mouse as riders lined up to get their start positions. This seemed to work well for day one, but first day results will be used to seed for day two.
There was some light ribbing across all groups with the spirit of enduro being hotly debated with Instagram pics of pre-riding being used as evidence in a tussle of pre-race positioning (we certainly have our views here at Spoke).
After and long and hot climb it was all on, with a tight, off-camber rooty and rocky descent awaiting. The dry conditions worked in the favour of all riders but a degree of trust and faith was still required across some of the steeper and off-camber sections. The great news was all riders survived to race another day.
Day one was complete with plenty of bottles of 8Wired Semiconductor IPA, a plethora of spot prizes and a quick dip in a surprisingly chilly Whites Bay. An early start is planned for Day 2 – Nydia Bay with multiple stages planned. We’re looking forward to it…
And here are the Provisional Results after Day 1: