Cliffs & Coves
NZ Enduro 2018 - Day Two Action from Nydia Bay
It’s 7pm now and the last riders are just getting off the water taxi. That makes it a ten hour day for most. Yes, there was a mandatory one and a half hour lunch break but still, day two of the Santa Cruz NZ Enduro might just be one of the most brutal days in any enduro stage race, anywhere. Four timed stages with three climbs totalling 1,162m climbing and 1,580m descending amounting to 35km travelled. Yes, thats right only 35km with pretty tame climbing stats, but in the thick NZ bush where the climbs are crisscrossed with a spider web of roots thicker than a fully mature hundred-year-old eel and the descents are even tougher and rougher, its a long day.
Last year saw the racers tackle the infamous Nydia Track in a torrential downpour, basically making one of New Zealand’s toughest tracks near impossible, but guess what, zero injuries. This year saw perfect conditions, which of course means higher speeds and more confidence. Unfortunately, this often leads to injury. Today saw a handful of riders have to make use of the early exit safety boat after stage two with a combination of bike and body malfunctions, luckily nothing was too bad.
How does one even describe the skills and techniques needed to master Nydia Track? I will try: You need stubborn beast-strength, harnessing all your power and momentum to smash through and over roots, rocks, holes and sometimes bikes but you need to combine that with finesse, flow, and precision. A tough combo but one that the ever experienced Jerome Clementz has in spades. Four wins out of four stages; a clean sweep and the race lead. Yesterday's winner, Keegan Wright took a spill on stage one and as a precautionary measure pulled for the rest of the day. It looks like he's ok though, so no worries for the upcoming season. Mitch Ropelato took three second-place finishes today showing his potential in his new-found enduro focus for the upcoming year, however, making a mess on stage two left the door open for Joe Nation and Sam Shaw to take second and third respectively. In the women's, Emily Slaco took the lead away from Harriet Harper after a near perfect day. Uriell maintains her third position.
The best war stories always come out on days like this, take Jamie Hubbard for instance. Snaps his chain, mangles his derailleur right out the shuttle vehicle before stage start and despite having 35 kilometres and over 1,000m climbing ahead of him drops into the day anyway. Gets about halfway through the day pumping, scooting and running then snaps his handlebar, but not even that can stop him. Some good old kiwi ingenuity and a can-do attitude, a quick stick for a splint/sleeve and off he goes. Sadly it did not last too long and he had to pull out and take the water taxi out from the lunch stop.
What a lunch stop it was – not one you would expect to come across this deep into Marlborough sounds with nowhere a road in sight. A wonderful Eco-lodge with venison patties and a full spread for everyone before the final two stages.
More good news is that it's looking to be a bluebird day tomorrow which means the helicopter will be ferrying riders up for the final days racing.
NZ Enduro 2018, Overall Results After Day 2
|1. Jerome Clementz||Overall Time: 0:49:30||Whites Bay (Day 1): 14:19||Day 1 Pos: 3||Nydia: 35:11||Day 2 Pos: 1|
|2. Joseph Nation||Overall Time: 0:50:41||Whites Bay (Day 1): 14:17||Day 1 Pos: 2||Nydia: 36:23||Day 2 Pos: 2|
|3. Samual Shaw||Overall Time: 0:51:15||Whites Bay (Day 1): 14:48||Day 1 Pos: 5||Nydia: 36:27||Day 2 Pos: 3|
|4. Charlie Murray||Overall Time: 0:51:34||Whites Bay (Day 1): 14:44||Day 1 Pos: 4||Nydia: 36:51||Day 2 Pos: 5|
|1. Conor Macfarlane||Overall Time: 0:51:59||Whites Bay (Day 1): 15:10||Day 1 Pos: 6||Nydia: 36:49||Day 2 Pos: 4|
|1. Emily Slaco||Overall Time: 1:01:44||Whites Bay (Day 1): 18:32||Day 1 Pos: 2||Nydia: 43:12||Day 2 Pos: 1|
|2. Harriet Harper||Overall Time: 1:03:02||Whites Bay (Day 1): 18:12||Day 1 Pos: 1||Nydia: 44:49||Day 2 Pos: 2|
|3. Uriell Carlson||Overall Time: 1:07:00||Whites Bay (Day 1): 20:02||Day 1 Pos: 3||Nydia: 46:58||Day 2 Pos: 3|
|4. Ronja Hill Wright||Overall Time: 1:08:06||Whites Bay (Day 1): 20:16||Day 1 Pos: 4||Nydia: 47:50||Day 2 Pos: 5|
|5. Cati Pearson||Overall Time: 1:08:12||Whites Bay (Day 1): 21:07||Day 1 Pos: 5||Nydia: 47:05||Day 2 Pos: 4|