Club Code of Conduct

One of the beautiful things about our club is the large member base we have. It’s great to see so many people out and enjoying the early morning rides.

We share the road with many other road users and expect all riders to adhere to our code of conduct when on our rides.

Code of Conduct

We ride safely and obey traffic rules.
We always wear a helmet and use lights.

When we wear the jersey, we are “The Club”.
We are courteous to other road users and avoid confrontation.

When we ride in a group we look out for each other.
We take our turn on the front and communicate as appropriate.

We maintain our bikes and carry our own spares.

We all get involved in the club.
We participate, both on and off the road and wear Club Kit.

How We Roll

  1. Two-by-two (unless ‘single file’ is called, or we are on a single lane road)
  2. Anti-clockwise chain – indicate to rotate (either rider can indicate to rotate)
  3. No surging – maintain pace in the group and when rotating
  4. Hold your line – don’t half-wheel or ride up the middle or outside of the group
  5. Look ahead and keep at least one hand on the bars

#dontbeadick

 

 

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ANZA MTB blast to Drak Bike Park Batam Indonesia

Tales From The Dark SideBy Pete Williamson
Saturday 28 August 2018

So none of us had explored the place before but we had heard good things… so lets find out…

Let’s just say we weren’t disappointed and some eyes were opened …

Driven by our MTB Matriarch.. Liesbeth Kanis .. we got our shyte together .. found a date … finally got to understand why Wilson Low is the man if you want to learn how to MTB in the region and did it…

One day.. 6.15 am at Harborfront.. home about 4.30 – 5.00 but there is not one of us that regrets that…

Real countryside.. out of the city .. just do it enjoyment…

Obviously we were not locals .. so our attempted team photo at the entrance to Brak Bike Park was photo bombed a smidge … (the XC (Cross Country .. i.e. less technical)  park in Batam … not to be confused with the Enduro Park very popular with locals called Dangas)

.. which kinda sets the scene for riding in this region on MTB… you gotta just go with the flow…

So.. into the flow we go… what a superb bike park to hone your MTB skills… if you want to learn or get confident on your bike this is the place.. sorry Singapore.. there is nowhere in this league here…

A day or too here and Singapores tree roots and technical trails will change for you.. this is the land of gaining your mojo..

Not a lot of words needed…  we were under a forest canopy cruising beside water when the outside temperature was hitting mid 30’s or more.. just that little breeze…

What was critical to the success of this jaunt was the guidance and technical on the job coaching provided by Wilson Low…

To give you and idea of the value.. so ok, I might be a competitively natured old uncle .. but I ain’t no Mountain Biker when it comes to technical skills.. but I went from yesterday trailing this group and carrying the last man walkie talkie to today ..staying over and scoring 6 strava cups (4th to 7th) over the same trails thanks to the little tips that Wilson and this little group of riders gave me yesterday…

This is the place for MTB Mojo!

Cheers Guys

ANZA Cycling - KL Trip 2

Kuala Lumpur – Cycling Weekend – The Climbing Challenge

Day 1 Genting Sempah and Bukit Tinggi

Words by Mario

It was my first overseas cycling trip with Anza and it was an absolutely great trip. Great mountains, great roads, great team and great organisation. Thank you, Mike and all who contributed.

Being in Singapore for more than 10 years and having cycled the Kranji route more than 500 times, I decided to join the KL Climbing Challenge: Day 1 was 135 Km with 2500 m of altitude gain.

As you know well, Singapore is flat, really flat, and to enjoy a new and different ride and to survive the unaccustomed climbing experience, as I thought good preparation is crucial. I started with Yoga sessions, some mental preparation, and obviously I also tuned my bike by changing the chain ring in the front to 36 dents, mounted a light wheel set, got sleeves extenders and a skull cap to block the burning sun (layer one for people with less hair). Finally, I bought the Transition Bag for going by bike from home to the bus station. The Transition Bag was the subject for the entire bus ride to KL.

We left Singapore sharp at 2pm from West Coast Park and after a few hours bus ride with a lot of fun and some philosophical discussions about said “Transition Bags”,  finally we all arrived happily in KL. After a quick carb and protein loading we all went early to sleep, the alarm clock was set at 5:45am.

Day One: Saturday morning, after the team photos were taken, we waited for Andrew, he decided to sleep longer and eventually catught up later. We also had a concise briefing from Mike (Mike: “it is all in the emails – didn’t you read your emails!”), we started with a delay of 20 min…

We had split the tour into a few sections.

The first section was a 15 km easy warm up, flat ride through KL. We had little traffic as the city was still asleep. It started very nice, people waving and showing thumbs up when our 21 well-dressed Anza team members passed through the roads.

The 2nd section got slowly but surely serious, it was a 15km climb up Genting Sempah, still an agreeable steady climbing with about 3 – 4% ascent. The nice panorama views and the considerate companionship helped me to reach on the top of the Genting Hill where the faster ones waiting and motivating others to reach the top.

“La Voiture Balai” (English: supporting vehicle) with food, drinks and spares was already waiting on the top of the hill.

A quick break, refill bottles, took few photos and we jumped into a downhill slope going for the tough 3rd section, the master piece, climbing up to the famous Bukit Tinggi (English: high mountain).

ANZA Cycling - Bukit Tinggi

An 8-10% end-less climb, one serpentine curve after the other, sweating, with muscles hurting, cramping… and then finally, the reward of this trip: a French village appeared in front of us on the summit of the climb.

ANZA Cycling - Bukit Tinggi

With impressive half-timbered houses and a castle from King Louis 14th. Wow. So nice. While re-grouping, we noticed that some of our strong riders decided, unintentionally, to make an extra round as they overshot on the downhill slope and missed the important left turn to Bukit Tinggi.

ANZA Cycling - Lunch Stop

Chicken was on the menu for lunch, few more photos were taken and then we started the return section. People got quiet, stopped talking as full concentration was required to manage a very steep climb of 14% ascent – only deep breathing was echoed in the valley.

For the return, we split the team in fast and semi-fast riders, the first ones added an extra loop of 20km and the others going home directly guided by Laura, who knew the way back with a stop at the ice cream shop for a Magnum. Yummy.

ANZA Cycling - Bukit Tinggi Descent

ANZA Cycling - Magnum Time

And the last section, a 15 km flat ride through the rush hour back into KL, smiles on all the faces when we reached the Park Royal Hotel Lobby. A big breath and “we did it” faces could be seen all over. After this exhausting day, with empty water bottles and still very thirsty we went straight to the hotel bar for a fresh cold pint of Carlsberg followed by some yoga, and a shower, the bike cleaning could wait.

I copied Jacob’s message who joined the tour as well. Quote:” Hello Mike, I speak on behalf of everyone in the KL team. Thank you very much for your leadership and organisation. It really made for a safe, fun and excruciating experience. I also want to thank everyone who participated. The team dynamic, consideration for other’s well-being, and positive attitude exemplified by everybody was fantastic.”

You love cycling? Join us next time!

Day 2 Genting Perez

Words by Joanne

ANZA Cycling - KL Day 2

The second day of the ANZA KL riding trip was always going to be a bit of a challenge for most of us.  For most it was because we had already put 135km or so on our bodies the day before. For others it was that plus the combination of dubious rehydration strategies the night before!

ANZA Cycling - Genting Perez

It certainly felt hotter than yesterday and more humid as we rolled out around 7:30am. Luckily the plan was to ride a “mere” 94km compared to the previous day. Three big climbs in there still and with the sun coming out from behind the clouds much earlier than yesterday, it certainly added to the pain.

ANZA Cycling - Day 2 Riding

There was an optional 7km out and back which took us a nice “easy” undulation up Genting Peras before we could roll back nicely down and continue our trip back which I’m pretty sure we all took.  The last climb of the day was in the full heat of the sun which certainly made it feel a lot tougher than what it was and I’m pretty sure that by the time we got back to the hotel around 12:30pm we were all very, very happy people!

A quick wash up and we finished off the weekend with lunch by the pool and recounts of the weekend through various experiences. No doubt there were more stories added on the bus ride back!!! A fantastic weekend and very well organised. As a complete outsider, I’m very, very glad I took the risk to join in on the fun.

The Routes

ANZA KL Saturday

ANZA KL Sunday

Gillian’s cycling adventure| pt 3

The Pamir Highway

Part 3- The Pamir Highway

This is incredibly late, as I am still very much alive albeit in Singapore.  But please be grateful that I spared you the earlier drafts that were far duller than this one (hopefully this is not hard to believe).  This account is awash with place names that will probably mean little but basically this edition starts in Tajikistan and ends in Kyrgyzstan (a country that I still struggle both to pronounce and spell).

From my initial research and through discussions with the cyclists that we passed along the way through Central Asia, I was convinced that Tajikistan was going to be the cycling highlight of our trip.  So convinced was I, that even when Jonathan expressed hesitation due to its proximity to Afghanistan and appearance in the Australian government’s cautionary travel warnings I was not dissuaded.

The reason for my Tajikistan enthusiasm was the Pamir Highway.  The road that winds its way through the spectacular Pamir mountains and forms part of the Silk Road connecting Tajikistan to Kyrgyzstan.  With a promise of challenging climbs and incredible mountainous scenery, I had decided that it could not be missed; even if it meant that I no longer had a travel buddy! (Jonathan went to Korea instead so we’re still trying to establish exactly who abandoned who….)

So, having farewelled/been abandoned by Jonathan, I set off from Tashkent, Uzbekistan alone in the hope that I would find some other cyclists along the way.  Crossing the border from Uzbekistan into Tajikistan this hope became closer to reality when the border guards failed to react to my present with much surprise.  Instead indicating that they had seen a cyclist earlier that day (or at least that’s what I could ascertain with my VERY limited understanding of Russian!)

With this knowledge in mind, I increased my cycling pace and was rewarded when I caught a glimpse of a fluro clad cyclist ahead the following day.  As it transpired, Eric a Frenchman had also been ‘abandoned’ by his cycling partner in Tashkent and was heading in the same direction as I.  While communication would prove somewhat of a problem due to the addition of yet another foreign language I didn’t speak, I was definitely relieved to have someone to talk to!

Khudzhand, Tajikistan

From our first meeting we cycled together, climbing the first serious mountain pass I would encounter and managing to navigate two 5km tunnels (fortunately no longer unlit and filled with water as previous cyclists had encountered).

While a passing motorist that we would later meet in the hostel in Dushanbe described me as looking ‘very determined’ as we cycled up this pass, I was already beginning to have doubts.  I had started to question exactly what I had committed to, given the incredibly steep gradient, heat and promise of many (many) more climbs!  However, these thoughts were quickly dismissed (as they always are) during a long and winding descent.

Tashkent to Dushanbe, Tajikistan

 

 

Dushanbe to Khorog

Dushanbe to Khorog, Tajikistan

Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan and a name that I still struggle to pronounce, proved a fairly unremarkable city.  Boasting what is apparently the world’s second tallest flagpole (Saudi Arabia stole the title in 2014), it is perhaps only memorable to me for being the place where I encountered a large group of Australians- the first for the trip.  Who, upon recognizing my presence tried to draw me into a discussion of Australian house prices.  Horrified, I fled the room, my tenuous break from reality well and truly shattered!

So, after several rest days in which I avoided aforementioned Australians, searched fruitlessly for cafes and interrogated other cyclists heading in the opposite direction about the route, we headed to Khorog.  The starting point of the Pamir Highway (M41) and possibly the last chance to stock up on supplies and glean information from other cyclists about the conditions ahead of us.

First mountain pass of the Pamir Highway, Tajikistan

On the unmaintained roads it took seven days to cycle the 500 kilometres from Dushanbe to Khorog.  It was hot (no surprises there) but this provided a good excuse to stop and chat with the other cyclists and locals that we encountered and to take post lunch naps in the shady gardens of restaurants.  Initially we cycled through green fields and we were greeted with the first glimpses of snow capped mountains as we neared the top of the first mountain pass at an altitude of a mere 3253m. (In comparison Mt Kosciusko, Australia’s highest peak is 2228m and Singapore’s Bukit Timah Hill is 163m!!)  After a rather terrifying steep and patchy descent we arrived in Qalai Khumb,  a small town that is most memorable for the beers that it provided, the deafening roar of the Panj River that flows through it and for my realization that I could see Afghanistan from my bedroom window!

After Qalai Khumb, Tajikistan

After fixing the first of what would be innumerable flat tyres we departed the following morning.  The route took us along the dusty and rocky road that winds its way along the Panj River, a river that separates Afghanistan and Tajikistan.  From this vantage point we were able to watch the Afghani villages go about their lives on the other side of the river (when we were not struggling to stay upright among the rocks of gravel!)  This part of the route was also scattered with small villages and communities.  Resulting in shouts of “hello, hello, what is your name? Where are you from?” from the hoards of children who seemed to know just when to appear.  Stopping to drink yet more Coca Cola or consume a mostly elusive ice cream, we would soon discover that these two ubiquitous questions, delivered in perfect English were as far as the conversation could progress.

While the river itself was mesmerizing and these greetings a joy, the road conditions proved to be some of the most difficult I had encountered.  As we negotiated rocky ascents more suited to mountain goats than a touring bike with fully loaded panniers, I did again wonder whether this was something that I was actually capable of!  I also wondered if it would be useful to engage the services of donkey….But, on a positive note, I did become much better at getting my feet out of my cleats each time I found myself teetering between large rocks or the edge of the mountain!

The road from Dushanbe to Khorog

Finally, after a welcoming sand storm on the edges of the town we arrived in Khorog.  While not a beautiful town by any standard, filled with cyclists, hiking boot clad backpackers and the ubiquitous white land cruisers of the various NGO workers who ply the region, Khorog contained a sense of energy, the promise of interesting company and information about what was ahead.

Khorog to the Wakhan Corridor

After two days in Khorog, I set off with a Turkish cyclist for the Wakhan valley.  Leaving Eric, the Frenchman, as he required weeks of rest due to a saddle related injury that I was far too squeamish to discuss.  The Wakhan valley/corridor is narrow strip of land that follows the river between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.  And while I had been hesitant about taking this route at first, the cyclists traveling in the other direction reassured us about its safety and gave high recommendations or perhaps were unwilling to admit that it had been a terrible, terrible mistake.

‘Cycling’ in Wakhan valley

That said, the Wakhan valley was indeed spectacular; even just for its remoteness and plethora of ever changing landscapes.  This sense of isolation was reinforced by the lack of shops and villages- requiring us in some areas to carry enough food for two to three days. Even when we came across villages their single shops often contained nothing more than stale biscuits, noodles, pasta, tomato paste and the occasional old snicker bar.

While we did have to battle yet more unpaved roads with various surfaces not limited to sand, gravel and rocks the scenery itself was truly spectacular.  I really did feel that I was ‘in the wild.’  And while the road surfaces made the 300km route into what felt like a six day test of endurance, the challenge itself was not so much physical as it was mental.  It was (and still is) difficult to push my bike up yet another rocky slope or through sand and not feel very very embarrassed!  So, the cycletouring became not about the distance that we could cover each day but simply about appreciating where we were and how fortunate we were to be there.  Although to avoid sounding too noble I should admit that I also spent a significant amount of time mulling over whether I would take the train or another mode of transport if it were an option.

Cycling through the Wakhan Valley, Tajikistan

Alichur to Murghab

 Eventually the ‘road’ through the Wakhan valley rejoined the Pamir Highway.  This brought with it asphalt, a restaurant and a warm yurt to stay in for the night courtesy of Alichur.  While expecting myself to be overjoyed or at least a little proud of what I had achieved by this point in time I just felt exhausted!  But, the next day brought with it the realization that despite facing yet another mountain pass the now (almost) continuous asphalt would enable me to cycle the last 100km in one day to Murghab, the next major town and rest point.

So, leaving my fellow cyclist to complete yet another isolated (and in my view unnecessary) route through the Pamir mountains I set off alone.  The morning provided sun, a mild headwind and an opportunity to admire the mountains on the other side of the border with China.  In contrast, the afternoon brought rain and wind as I neared the pass.  And to make matters worse, unable to find my rain jacket quickly, the poncho I donned soon became a sail.  But my initial concerns about how silly I looked to passing trucks were quickly overtaken by the fear that I would be found days later, frozen on a mountain top!  A passing 4WD, carrying the bikes of those who had presumably given up/been too sensible to continue woke me from these overly doom laden thoughts.  So, filled with what could have only been a slightly misguided sense of superiority to anyone who didn’t believe that cycling was the best mode of transport, I propelled myself across the pass from where I seemingly sailed, grinning, down the other side to Murghab.  Where dinner, a shower (albeit from a bucket), partial electricity and a warm bed awaited.

Murghab to Lake Karakul

Comprising of a series of mud brick houses perched on a dusty hillside and a bazaar assembled from shipping containers; Murghab is not exactly picturesque.  However the ‘homestay’ (basic accommodation, usually with a family where dinner, breakfast and copious amounts of tea are included) provided the perfect rest spot- even if I did have to sneak my bicycle inside so that I didn’t have to go outside to check on it during the night!

From Murghab I cycled over the Ak-Baital pass, which at 4655m is the highest point of the Pamir highway.  This rather rocky ascent was followed by a rather rocky descent that was then followed by a rather freezing night camping on the side of the mountainside.

In between the shivers I did wonder whether I was over reacting, but the ice I found in my drink bottles the next morning confirmed that it had been a rather chilly night!  Insult was added to injury the following morning upon my discovery of a homestay, just 200 metres away!

Having learnt my lesson, after a full day of cycling, I spent the next night at a homestay on Lake Karakul.  Seemingly devoid of other tourists or for that other people, I spent the afternoon admiring the startlingly blue lake ringed by snowcapped mountains.  And while I was tempted to swim, the lake’s 3900m elevation had created some seriously chilly water!

Lake Karakul, Kyrgyzstan

The next day brought with it the last two unpaved mountain passes with the latter marking the border to Kyrgyzstan.  Reaching the top of the final pass I was ecstatic and definitely a little pleased by the looks of incredulity on the faces of a group of mountain bikers who stood at the top, waiting to descend!  Finally I was in Kyrgyzstan, well I thought I was, but as it transpired I still had 20km of ‘no-man’s land’ to cross to reach the checkpoint.  This situation gave me more than enough time to start wondering if I had somehow missed the guardhouse.  So I was more than a little relieved when a small cluster of buildings made their appearance!

The final pass before Kyrgyzstan

Busy with a carload of backpackers, the guards gave my passport only a cursory glance before stamping it and sending me on my way.  Soon, I was riding through picturesque farmland dotted with goat herders and numerous yurts.  As dusk descended and the wind increased I arrived in Sary-Tash, the first town across the border.  I then spent the night in a hastily chosen guesthouse; eager to get out of the cold.  Filled with watermelons and children it definitely wasn’t the best choice of accommodation but I was happy to be inside!

The following days brought with them more mountain passes although they were rendered far less daunting due to the drastic improvement in road surfaces that Kyrgyzstan provided.  It was then with much excitement that I arrived in Osh, the end of the Pamir Highway, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan and the home of at least one decent coffee shop!

Kyrgyzstan

The Map.

ANZA Bintan Feb, 2018| New Friendships Formed

Bintan Ride, Indonesia Febuary 11th, 2018
By Alan Jones

The thing about memory and the way life works is that even though we experience life forwards in time, we remember everything better backwards. The things which mark our lasting experiences in life are mostly the freshest: our lasting memories are our last.

And so, it is with my ‘mini-tour’ or Bintan report

Here, you can have mine”, Stephanie Lim shouted over the road buzz and wind of yet another little roller descent, waving her mostly empty bidon in my general  direction. Now we were isolated from the support van, the hot dry wind whipping over my salt encrusted arms,  I was hopefully re-checking both my bidons for any sign of water. “Empty as a gyspy’s bank account”, I noted. Diverting my dejected glaze from the heat haze of next little ‘kicker’, I turned to Seph “Isn’t that all you have?”. Stephanie, smiled. “I have a little left in the other – you can share what I have. And with that shared gesture, the kernel of friendship was formed”.

Of course, I wasn’t supposed to be there:  In the heat. Fighting off cramps. In the rolling hills. With Sephanie Lim. Dyhydrated. I was supposed to be with Juliane Wizner. You see, I was a “ring in”.  A late entry. New to ANZA. I didn’t even know what Bintan was until the week before.

The ping of  whatsapp heralded a message from Juliane Winzer just days earlier. That sweet young German temptress of cycling who always finds a way of cajoling me (and just about anyone else) into any ride. Please! Please! Please! Join me on a slow ride around Bintan?, she said in a sweetly persuasive eastern German accent. Hmm, we had both enrolled in the Tour de Phuket in March and needed a training ride. Bintan! No preparation? No planning? No idea! What could possibly go wrong? I said Yes, of course! – now again how far is this ride and where is this Bintan place?.

Just how much Fun can two people have: Alan Jones and Juliane Winzer Tackle the start of Bintan

About the Bintan Ride:
The ride itself was a fully supported ride of about 160klm in a loop around the island. Wonderfully organised by ANZA and carried out in a casual way – wonderfully Indonesian, helpful, well intended, but slightly chaotic.

The day began from the ferry terminal at Tanah Merah with the ferry departing about 8am. After an hour-long ferry ride and a journey through customs, the group assembled for our farewell photo.

The Bintan Group.  Yep that’s me the orange one NOT wearing his ANZA kit.

Bintan is an Indonesian island directly off the south-east of Singapore. Noted for its dryer climate, lack of shade and rolling hills and a sufficient size to log a longish Strava loop. 160Klm on Bintan is a real test for any cyclist.

The Bintan Route 11/2/2018

The Bintan Route Topology – lots of rolling hills

We started as unified group from the ferry resort terminal on Bintan. A long rolling flat of about 5 k’s greeted our enthusiasm before the first hills broke up the peleton as the faster riders showed their form.  At the first regroup point about 10ks into the ride, we then divided into two groups: the fast group and the slow group. No guesses as to which group this 52 year old was riding in!

Each group had its own support van to carry drinks and to transport rider’s backpacks and nutrition. Cheerfully piloted and supported by a great ANZA organised Indonesian crew. Plenty of ‘Pocari Sweat’ and water at each stop.

The first stop and a needed refuelling and water refill

The route saw us push through rolling hills with some sharper rises directing us  to the coast before the first stop. The route was taken at a faster pace, as the adrenaline was being worn from the group. The many legs pushing at this early stage would have something to say to their owners later in the day.

The first of many stops was a typical Indonesian fishing village with motor bikes, scooters and silent sedentary activity of the locals puzzled by the lycra clad appearance of we cycling sojourners.

A steady pace of 35-37kph in the slow group was hardly sluggish, as we enjoyed the sea breezes as the route headed south across to enjoy the coastal roads and cool sea breezes.

“Damn Chain”, I cursed as Stephanie passed me. The third dropped chain of the ride, reminded me again to send my beloved Giant TCR for a service. About 40ks left and I was fading. It was hot and getting hotter.  A dry parching heat getting dryer. Cramps were just tweaking my hamstrings. In fatigue, I could only but wait as my grease blackened hands struggled, fumbling to free that damned jammed chain.”

 At last moving again, our ‘slow’ group was now fractured, distant and scattered over shimmering road ahead of me. Cramping riders being picked up in the support wagon as the price was being paid for early exuberance. Riders now like scattered masts of  departing yachts- appearing briefly only to sink under the next rolling wave of a hill. Legs gone, I had now fallen behind. I wasn’t last, but I wasn’t far from it.”

The route headed in land as the heat of the day started. The first casualties of the fast group began to drop back to our slower group and we worked together to look after everyone.  The cool breezes of the morning were replaced with a dry hot wind and a harsh sun, as the shady lanes of the coastal route were replaced with baked tarmac.

I was alone. “Okay time to focus on my average ‘watts’ over these hills”, I thought. No youthful sprinter, my technique relies on constant but constrained pressing. “This is just a long hill”, I try, unsuccessfully, to convince myself. “Like Mount Nebo back home in Brisbane.” A distant rider finally appears. Ah ha! A motivating target!

Stephanie’s pony tail flick gave her away long before I could make out her physical form. Fifteen minutes after I was dropped, I had caught someone. “Well, done Alan. Welcome back!”, Stephanie encouraged.

 The route then headed north into the heat of the day. Roads were generally good, with only one nasty pothole causing a double pinch flat and a retirement later in the day. Rolling pelotons helped share the load as a wind picked up.

As we headed further north into rolling hills the peloton finally fell apart as fatigue and pinching hills separated the groups rides by their strength and stamina. The support van was busy catering for retiring riders and the heat began to take the toll on even the faster riders.

Passing a few struggling riders, Stephanie and I found some form together. Feeling a little stronger, I led and gave Stephanie a break, but she kept coming around to lead and to share the work load. “Jump on” I yelled as we passed and then picked up another rider. Being new to ANZA, I didn’t get his name. He tucked in and we became a troika of prisoners in the gulag of that punishing afternoon Bintan sun.”

Strong and fast all day, Stephanie was now fading. A slow leak on a rear tyre of our new companion had  reduced the troika back again to just a pair of survivors.  These rolling hills were clearly affecting Steph. I let her lead and set the pace at her speed –  as much as a mental break for me as it was to keep her from being dropped.  We were slowing, but still moving onwards. Forwards. The cramps had subsided. “Steph! How much further?”, I mumble as I squinted toward my Garmin trying to read it’s digital map. “Another 15kms still,  Alan ” reported Steph. “What again!?”, I chuckled. Stephanie had earnestly and erroneously reported 15kms to go for the last hour. We both laughed.

By this time, it began to become hard and unpleasant – a challenge for all involved. The last 50km of hot rolling hills were undertaken by individual riders or groups of one or two.

The finish line and Stephanie and I are just glad to be there.

“ ’Check Point Charlie’ marked the entry to the resort and the last 7 klm. Guiltily deciding not to wait to regroup with the last few fellow stragglers lest cramps render us immobile, we pressed on.  Juliane was somewhere back there hopefully ok. Sorry fahrradfrau. Stephanie, completely spent, was struggling to keep in contact. “No, we would finish this damned thing together”, I vowed as I thankfully emptied Stephanie’s gift of her bidon. I slowed and rode next to my new friend, Stephanie Lim. We crossed the finish line in unison,  fellow ANZA riders, and now, two who are bonded with a shared Bintan memory of travail and triumph!”.

The last 40klm were along the same route we started the ride, with the sharp hills, but now with a hot dry wind and full midday sun.

At the end of the ride enjoying a well earned beer, I learned the following lessons: Bring a change of clothes and some food to eat at the end of the ride.

All up for me it was 200klm on the day, with two and from ferry terminal and the 160klm on the day. However, it was a remarkable day, and one to begin new friendships with shared memories of achieving a great ride.

The Taupo Challenge

The Taupo Challenge
By Bruce Swales

In November each year the Taupo Challenge is run at Lake Taupo in New Zealand.  Located in the central North Island of New Zealand, Lake Taupo is in a caldera created by a supervolcanic eruption which occurred approximately 26,500 years ago, and is the largest lake in Oceania.  To put the size of the lake in perspective, Singapore would fit within.

The Taupo challenge is a one day cycling event, which comprises several bike races – both road and mtb. The major event is a road race right around Lake Taupo, but there is also an 80km and 40km road race and also an ‘ultra’ road race that covers four laps of the lake.  For mountain bikers there are also several mountain bike races, including an 85km race.

25th November 2017 saw the 41st running of this event and ANZA’s Bruce Swales and Iain Clarke travelled down to compete.  There were also 7 other competitors from Singapore, and competitors from 22 other countries making up some of the 6,000 competitors across all races.  Ex ANZA Singapore rider Dean Cooper was there wearing ANZA kit, and Kent McCallum (Cycosports) was also there and was spied wearing ANZA bib shorts.  More than 2,300 riders competed in the main race around the lake.  This was Iain’s third time competing and Bruce’s first.

As can be seen in the map and elevation diagram, the course is 153km long, with 1,736 metres of climbing.  Most of the climbing is over rolling hills but there are a couple of very significant hills.  The first is Poihipi Hill, that riders hit only 600 metres from the start line, which averages 4% gradient over 2km’s.  While not that substantial, riders hit this cold, usually having been waiting for an hour or so at the start line.  The second hill, called Hatepe Hill, is a little more nasty and is at the 132km point, some 21km from the finish, with a gradient that averages around 8% over 3km. However, once you are over the top of Hatepe it’s basically downhill to the finish 20km away in the town of Taupo, with one last small bumps along the way.

November in New Zealand is Spring, which means the weather can be unpredictable – it could be windy, wet, cold or warm.  The days leading up to this race were warm (22 – 24 °C) with very little or no wind, so everyone was hoping for a dry, windless race.  Our wishes were granted with the day of the race being an overcast dry day, with morning temperatures below 18 °C and no wind at all – perfect racing conditions. Those hours of training put in by Iain and I in the Singapore heat would certainly pay off in these conditions.

Racing actually started the night before, with several crit races around the town, including a NZ armed forces race (Army, Navy and Air force teams), and elite Men’s and Women’s races.  I met up with Kent McCallum to watch these and compare to the Singapore CFS crits.  Good racing and great commentary by Robbie McEwan.

Come 6.45am on the 25th and the main race commenced, with the elite racers starting first, followed by the other riders starting in waves of a hundred or so riders, based on anticipate finish times.  Iain was in the third wave and was hoping to complete the race inside 4½ hours.  I started in the wave behind Iain’s with a goal of completing the race in under 5 hours.  As predicted, Poihipi Hill started the splitting of waves, with my wave splitting into two by the top (turn left at the giant bicycle), then came the one hundred kilometres of rolling hills.  While some of these ‘rolling’ hills are significant in their own right, there were several long descents to recover on so the race is not as arduous as it may sound.  This certainly worked to my advantage as while I am not a fast ascender I am a quick descender and was able to regain places I was losing on the ascents.  My downfall was, however, having never ridden the course before I took it a little too easy during the first half of the race, in order to conserve myself for the second half, and by the time Hatepe Hill arrived I was fresher than I expected to be but by then it was too late to pull back much of the time that I lost during the first part.  Nevertheless I finished well inside my goal, at 4:49:40.  Iain had a great race and despite puncturing at the bottom of Hatepe Hill still finished inside his goal, in 4:29:37.

Being in ANZA kit was a novelty for some riders, with several comments along the lines of ‘Oh you are from Singapore, aren’t you a long way from home?’ I was also asked by a woman rider ‘Do you know my friend Megan Kinder?’ (Megan, Kath sends her regards).

I met up with Iain at the finish, where we each consumed a free beer (a mark of a well organised race must be a free beer for every rider that finishes!).  Overall this was an excellent event and one that I would highly recommend – great course, beautiful scenery, well organised and a wonderful weekend atmosphere.  I will be back next year!  For those who may be interested next year’s race is on 24th November 2018.

https://www.facebook.com/CycleChallenge/
https://cyclechallenge.com/highlights/

Masters Tour of Chiang Mai – 2017

With photo credits for various shots to SinghaDTK, [and apologies for any dodgy photo cropping. Ed.]

#gordonsgetaways this was not.  Though a much smaller contingent than last year, a good handful of us participated in the Masters Tour of Chiang Mai 2017.  14 of us regulars, including 5 AWKT guys made the trip to Chiang Mai this October.  The four day stage race included 2 road races, one circuit race and one ITT up the famed Doi Suthep.  We have three volunteers to share their unique perspectives on these days.

Day 1 by Reuben Bakker

All 9 riders in ANZA Kit.
Roli, Colin, James, Reuben, Lizzie, Rob, Steven, Peter, Frank

Day 1 was scheduled to be a 74.5 km road race.  We started bright and not that early for our club photo and then rolled over to the starting line.  Just like last year, we had a neutralized, nice and lazy rolling start to somewhere north of Chiang Mai.  This was a nice opportunity to chat around, say hi to other teams, people we knew from out of town and just generally enjoy effortless cycling.

The neutral roll out stopped some 16.5km from its origin.  A much nicer place than last year, but it was different from last year.  After a bushes break and drinking the last of my disposable water, Open A, Open B and 30s lined up awaiting our flag off.Reuben, Frank and Roli waiting the flag off for stage 1

Soon we were off!  My goal for day 1 was simple.  Finish with the leaders, don’t lose any time and if an opportunity presents itself, take it (KOM / Podium).  As we rolled out, there was no flying feeling like last year.  The euphoric feeling of one’s first road race was replaced with a bit of jitteriness of avoiding potholes, cars and crashes.  The peloton rolled on at 42 kph to the approach to the KOM hill.  Unknown to me, there was a break of 3 riders well up the road (none in my cat).  Happy with my ignorance of this and only seeing small groups a couple hundred meters up the road, I sat in the pack.

Green Fields and Blue Skies for Day 1;  calm cycling before we are strung out.

On the approach to the KOM hill, I decided to stretch my legs, so I went to the front and pulled a nice turn to bring catch up to a group a hundred meters or so up the road.  This decision to be near the front of the group for the hill was a good one, because as the peloton hit the hill, someone decided that IT WAS ON.  It was a 2:30 minute hill for me and a 2:10 minute hill for the leaders.  The peloton was strung out and going much faster than last year.  From the middle of the hill to the finish line (half of the race), the front of the peloton was fragmented / single file.  The scenery blurred by.  The only thing that mattered was holding a wheel in a group that was pushing the pace.  Push we did.  Down the hills, over the hills, through the little towns, the scenery blurred by.  The last 40 km was covered with a 49 kph average with the fast bits going by at well over 50 kph.  The euphoric flying feeling was there again.

Then came the onset of cramps again.  My legs didn’t cramp up, but all I could do was sit in.  A lead group (40+) eventually came together 20 km after the hill just after we hit the main road.  There were still 3 riders out front, so the pace was kept high.  Transport trucks were passed.  Whoosh.  I started the count down on the Garmin.  Time to test the legs to see if they could handle anything beyond being last wheel.  NO.  When the group is going 52, it’s quite an effort to push faster.  The legs weren’t having any of this.  I sit in.  With less than 5km to go, the break away is caught and the cat and mouse for winning the stage begins.  Attacks are launched off the front, but nothing gets away.  It looks like fun, but I cannot play.  As we roll to the line, I’m still near the back of the group.  The sprinters finish a second or two ahead, but we all get the same clock time.  Stage 1 is finished with a blistering average speed of 44.7 kph.

Day 2 – Circuit race by Frank Stevenaar

A complete new stage was introduced this year, a circuit race around the Chiang Mai Rajabhat University campus ground. The course was 4.8km long, undulating, closed off for traffic, had perfect tarmac and quite easy wide corners. In other words: perfect for a fast race.  Unlike day 1, the categories raced separately which meant more interesting and tactical racing.  Most categories raced 8 laps with a small KOM climb after the 4th lap.

The 30s team had one objective and that was to make sure that Reuben stayed out of trouble and didn’t lose time in the GC.  To save the legs, we opted for the easy option and took the team van instead of riding over 30km through busy Chiang Mai traffic.

After getting some valuable intel from the guys racing in 40s, we set-off and the pace picked up quickly.  Quite soon, attacks were being launched but they were all reeled in before a meaningful break could be established.  The Matadors tried to make the race hard in order to get their sprinter in a good position and Ben Judas tried his luck with a break but the climbs, wide roads and easy corners meant that it was difficult for him and any other riders to get away.  In the penultimate lap a more serious attack was established by multiple teams but Frank worked with a few Thai riders to close the gap.  Roli took over and by then Reuben was also at the front and the race was destined to end in a mass sprint.  Reuben and Roli moved to the front to get a good result for the stage but the small Thai  riders were better positioned for the uphill finish with Kumut (Roojai Interbike team) and Chatchai (Nich) coming in 1 and 2. Roli finished as the best 30s Anza rider in 9th position.

In ladies Open had one very strong UAE rider dominating the field and the best Anza rider was Lizzy, finishing 8th.

In Open, a break held together and Iron Mike was the best placed ANZA/AWK rider in 4th position.

In 40s, the race also finished in a bunch sprint and James finished in the top 15 with Rob and Colin finishing right behind the first bunch.

In 50s, the race was ripped apart by a couple of strong riders and Steven and Peter finished in the second bunch.

Day 3 by Reuben Bakker

Day three, the day where the hills started and time gaps in the GC would appear.  The route was supposed to be some 97 km including a long out and back along a main road and then into the hills for some climbing.  Thinking that it would be just like last year, where no break got away on the main road, I again, ignorantly and happily sat it.  I had my eye on several riders in the 30s and they were doing the same.  The peloton happily rode along.  Slowly.

On the way out before the u-turn, we were averaging 40 kph.  Somehow, the decision was made to do the u-turn about 7.5km early, lopping some 15km from the route (I heard that the decision was made because we were going too slow and the second peloton was going to catch us).  After the u-turn, the pace was even slower.  I wasn’t paying attention and a significant number of riders went off the front and made some huge time (the riders I had my eye on all stayed with the peloton).  On the way to the turn-off into the hills from the u-turn, the peloton averaged 38.5 kph while the break averaged some 48 kph.

Soon enough we entered the real hills.  From a simplicity point of view, there were three climbs, of 15-20 minutes in length and two descents.  I got over the first one quite well, though the true climbers in the 30s crested some 50+ seconds ahead of me.  The route brought us down some switchbacks into a valley, up the other side, turn around and then up the switchbacks to the finish line.  The only thing I wanted to do going down the switchbacks was not to crash.  I made it down in one piece, though I did come into one corner too fast but was able to stay upright.

Up the other side of the valley, I had the route at 4km of climbing which is what strava told me other people did last year.  I settle into a rhythm, careful not to allow my HR to get too high.  My HR is 170 and power is about 320 watts.  I start out by myself but am soon joined by Romain (from Matadors) and Ed (from Unfound.cc).  It’s my breakaway partners from day 3 of tour de bintan earlier this year.  We stay together for about a minute, casually chatting, but working hard.  Ed decides that our pace is a bit slow and pushes on.  I stay put and continue to push on with Romain.  This is my second mistake.  Though my HR was in the right zone, I should have been able to push 30-40 more watts.  I didn’t even try.  The climbing continues and soon the leaders are zooming down the hill past us.  Trying to be helpful, I shout out rough time gaps.

My garmin says 4km have passed by.  There is no u-turn in sight.  We keep climbing.  Up, up, up.  Soon I see someone I know in the 30s flying by the other way.  We keep climbing.  After another km at a 9.7% gradient, the u-turn appears.  Whoosh, down the hill.  Luckily, a local passes me and I’m able to follow his line down the hill.

Slogging up the first real climb of the day

The bottom of the valley appears and now there is only 2.4km left to the finish, at 11% (270 m elevation gain).  I settle in again.  This time with my HR at 170 and the power at 330 watts.  Soon I’m joined by Romain again.  With nobody else in sight, we spin up the hill.  I’m quite thankful for my 34-32 gearing which allows me to keep a cadence of 70 rpm.  The distance goes by in the garmin.  Less than 1 km to go.  I’m racing, but it doesn’t feel like it.  Just feels like a hard group ride.  There is no final push up the hill.  The tank is not emptied.  Romain and I roll up and over the finish line, finishing 10th and 9th (30’s cat) on the stage.  There is satisfaction of completing the stage, but at the same time feel like something is lacking as I didn’t push my boundaries.  After three stages, I am 6th in the 30’s cat GC, just one spot off the podium and my initial goal of a top 5.

(end note:  the uphill ITT didn’t quite go as planned either.  Overall, I ended up 7th in the 30’s, 1:14 down on 5th place and 2:06 out of 3rd)

Day 4 Doi Suthep ITT.. The Race of Truth. by Peter Williamson

This is it. The moment of truth. You are about to find out how you rank against the others who have flown here from many places and different environments, helped you, hindered you, become your friends or sit one or two places behind you or in front of you in GC… but… in the back of your mind… sits that little voice… you live in Singapore… all these people live in countries with hills… how many positions could you possibly slip today?

If you want a serious racers perspective, then please take a read of what Mike wrote… https://www.ironmikemusing.com/2017/10/masters-tour-chiang-mai-2017/

But from my novice / learners’ perspective this is what it felt like…. 9k’s at a pretty constant 5-6% (yes constant and nagging) … how long is Faber?  1 and a bit k’s with flat bits?

Mike sorry but I pinched your graphic to emphasise the steadiness. It belies the kick up at the end somewhat.

and then … as Mike described it to me … you go past the waterfall and there is the wall… but it does flatten out a bit in the last 400 metres… to maybe 10% or so. But save some legs for the wall … you can easily lose a minute or more there.

It flattens out just up there lads!

Before the wall

After the wall

 

So its game on from 7.30am with the Ladies 35+, Ladies Open, Mens 60+, Mens 50’s, Mens 40s, Mens 30’s, Mens Open B (Juniors) and Mens Open A.

Breakfast starts at 5. 30.. and I am off at 7.53… a 5am alarm with everything all laid out should work. A quick whip down to muesli and yoghurt with some of the Mav’s and yup the egg man is late for work again…

Hmm that’s precipitation! just a drizzle… but it’s going to be completely different from the first three days…wet but uphill so no worries. Ok best bang that on the group messenger chat… “lads and ladettes.. it’s starting to rain!”.

Lizzie and I rolled out of the Kantari Hills courtyard, being careful to stay upright on the slippery cobbles, for the less than 2km journey to the start line by the zoo in the semi light of a grey drizzly dawn.

When we arrive our friendly Thai starter is relaying every conversation he is having with every rider and van driver through his microphone… “ oh yes.. the toilets are over there on the right…”

I wonder how Rueben is going to handle descending afterwards on his carbon unicycle with no bottle cage, bar tape, brakes or paint that he dreamt up while we were having dinner last night?

The only place to warm up is to ride up the course… and it takes 2 or 3 k’s on this colder day to get the heart rate up without burning the legs… and the decent back to the start line must be taken with care … its slippery, there are cars up this road and the brakes don’t work so well.

“Go Lizzie.. hold that steady!” she’s up off the seat on the second corner where the road is too wide to stay out wide to keep momentum… you have to take the inside steeper line.

The ANZA 40 -49’s are arriving just as Steve and I get ready to mount the steps to the start. James is without strapping on the knee today… he reckons it is feeling pretty ok.

As the early riders in our 50-59 cat roll off the ramp Stephen Ames … starting one place in front of me modestly says… “let me know when you are coming past so I can try to follow…”   I pointed out that as it didn’t happen yesterday on the Sameong climb that would be even less likely to happen today. He had completely emptied the tank on day one off the front of the peloton to get Alan Grant up for the stage 1 win. Maybe next year guys you get me to 1km to go on stage 1 and I will try and go off the front and distract Pavol somehow … and you guys sneak on by? Then I have an excuse for stage 4.

All the good luck man fist pumps have been done, Stephen is away, and I am up the steps and hanging on to the ramp bar with the left hand, shoes clipped in … but it feels like my first time steer riding as a kid at our local rodeo.

“five zero two,  Peter Williamson   .. five, four, three, two, one , go!” … down that sharp little green carpet and here we go… up off the seat and pumping…gotta get this heart rate up… just like James would be doing a while later.

For me I had to take a detour just past the end of the TT coned area ahead of James. A tourist was photographing his girlfriend buying a durian at the fruit stall on the corner… he walked backwards into the middle of the road.  What the hell are you doing buying durian at quarter to eight on a wet Tuesday morning?… anyways … ‘mai pen rai khup’… I can see Stephen taking the next corner … there is my avatar… that black and red skin suited Maverick bum…. I think that was the last time I saw it….

However…I did manage to pass some morning riders on their mountain bikes .. and yup eventually a few of the 60+ plus guys… and then .. errrm.. Alan Grant eases past spinning away and occasionally off the seat … then a couple more and despite best efforts there aint no way I can ride that pace seven metres behind. But I did learn about cornering on an ascent like this. Avoid the steep inside corners… do more distance wide and keep the spinning momentum going.

Not far behind comes Andy Brierley.. he started last in our cat but with a time in the 31 minutes he showed his class.. such a smooth easy cadence. At about 8km in the gradient has eased a little and hello! Never noticed this on the reccy drive up in the Van … a downhill section… you have to use the big ring and get your bum off that bloody seat to give those aching glutes a break ..change the angle  even though in 300 metres you are back at 6% again.

For me, when I reached the waterfall what was on my mind was where is Mr Wong? .. He started two back. Number 506 from France had passed me a couple of minutes ago but for the first time I had a handle on how far away the finish line is. You have a computer but when it’s just constant and you have not ridden it before (my flight was late in so I could only ride halfway up on the Friday before it got dark and unsafe) it was dignity over valour for me… I am not blowing up. You really aren’t sure how far away that wall really is until you see it.

I see it… OK Mr 506.. stay right there.. I am coming to join you… now you can give it… but you are just coming up to the 1km marker so ‘giving it’ means spinning it up… not getting off the seat. I managed to spin it up and hold it and nearly dragged Mr 506 in by the time I got to the line. Lizzie grabbed the back of my seat so that I didn’t splat on the road in the middle of the finish line area. Much appreciated… so I reciprocated as our lads came in.. it does take you a minute or so to gather your senses.

I won’t go into times but here’s how we fayred on stage 4:

O&OE.. this is from eyeballing the GC results… sorry if I have you slightly wrong.

Lizzie       12th Equal Ladies Open
Steve       14th Mens 50-59
Peter       12th Mens 50-59
Colin        32nd Mens 40-49
Rob          24th Mens 40-49
James      21st Mens 40-49
Rolland    33rd Mens 30-39
Frank       22nd Mens 30-39
Reuben    11th Mens 30-39
Guillaume DNS
Sofiane    19th Mens Open A
Mike        17th Mens Open A
Will         14th Mens Open A
Adam      9th Mens Open A

Paraphrasing some of Mike’s blog… This was clearly a stage for pure climbers. It did shuffle the podium pack a little further in most Cats GC finishes but the outstanding climb was clearly from Peter Pouly of Infinite AIS.. pushing out an average of 400 watts for a time of 26:51.. almost a minute over the next best in the Open Mens; but not enough to haul in 2017 winner Peerephol Chawchiangkwang of Full Team Cycling. As I quite often hear around the ANZA peletons ‘you’ve gotta ride em to race em… . But that wasn’t the case in the Women’s open with two ladies from AL Asayl destroying the field on this climb and taking the top two GC spots also.

Of course we encountered the Durian Rider… “didn’t know Trek and Moots made prams”…  was his YouTube comment as he spun past Arran and I walking during this years Chiang Mai Rapha Prestige on an off-road pinch climb.  I had a bloody 39 on the front and 27 on the back. His bike here has a single MTB crank on the front and 40 on the back!… mind you his best time up Doi Suthep is in the 27’s .. he knows how to spin out watts

Thank you to Reuben for a fine performance as our guiding/ organising hand… You can tell the race is over when your domestique has a beer as well as a coke in his shirt. Thanks mate! Really appreciated your efforts… organising those support vans and supplies must have been like herding the proverbial cats!

4 Stages done… and plenty learned.

 

 

OANDA Trading Seminar

Would you like to learn more about trading? On 1 November 2017, OANDA will be holding an introductory trading seminar hosted by proud Kiwi Jeffrey Halley. With more than 30 years’ experience in FX – from spot/margin trading and NDFs through to currency options and futures – Jeff is OANDA’s senior market analyst for Asia Pacific, responsible for providing timely and relevant market commentary throughout the region.

Date: 2 November 2017
Time: 6:30-8:00 pm
Venue: OANDA Asia Pacific
50 Collyer Quay, Unit 04-03
Singapore 049321

Register here to attend this event. OANDA look forward to seeing you there.
https://www.eventbrite.sg/e/oanda-introduction-to-trading-fx-and-cfds-hosted-by-jeffrey-halley-tickets-38651190752

CAPE TO CAPE

CAPE TO CAPE MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE 2017

World class mountain bike trails, famous wineries, and breweries, delicious food and perfect weather for riding definitely put the Cape to Cape MTB event on the top of our list when we were planning our race calendar for 2017.

The Cape to Cape mountain bike race is a four day stage event for riders of all levels that winds itself through Western Australia’s stunning south west region. It has been running for the last nine years and traditionally starts at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and travels 220kms to Dunsborough at Cape Naturalist. This year, for the tenth anniversary, the organizers decided to make the event more family friendly and to use the favorite world class trails of the Pines, Boranup and Middle Earth forests more effectively. All of the starts were within a 5km radius of Margaret River town and started and finished at a different winery each day. The hardest decisions to make were how many glasses of wine or beer we should have after each stage so as not to affect the next days racing!

Seven intrepid ANZA mountain bikers made the trip down to Margaret River for the 2017 event, Chris Rawlings, Nick Richmond, Arran Pearson, Hilke Rode, Joergen Nailer, Shane Snijders and Marcin Szot. All regulars on the Thursday night and Saturday morning mountain bike rides in Singapore. As this years event was designed to be more family friendly with an event village and less travelling, most riders came with family as their support crew.

Stage One
Started and finished at Xanadu winery with 55kms of trails around the 10 mile dam and into the world class Pines and Compartment 10 trails with huge burms, jumps and switchbacks. All of the ANZA team finished the stage with no crashes or mishaps other than Joergen suffering with cramps. The stage was an extra 8kms than advertised, which caused a few grumbles from other riders.

Stage Two
Started and finished at Leeuwin Estate winery with 63kms of trails in the Jarrahdine area, Boranup Forest, Highway to Hell and Caves road. This was the longest and hardest of the stages with lots of sandy tracks, which can make riding very difficult. Once again all of the ANZA team completed the stage with no major tumbles or mechanicals. Our race preparation had definitely paid off!

Stage Three
Started and finished at Colonial Brewery with 56kms of trails on fast fire roads up to Middle Earth. With trail names like Mirkwood, Helm’s Deep, Frodo, Eagles Nest, Bilbo Baggins, and Mordor. Almost 20kms along these amazing trails of jumps, burms and swithchbacks and lots of ‘Gotchya’ rocks to throw you into the bush. Again all of the ANZA team completed the stage but Joergen, Arran and Marcin took tumbles along the way. The full suspension bikes definitely paid off on this stage due to the big sections of rock gardens. At the finish line Joergen discovered his phone and sunk to the bottom of a ditch he took a tumble into, alas never to be found.

Stage Four
Started and finished in Margaret River town with a controlled roll out through the town center and then 50kms of trails through the world class Pines forest. Smashing through runs such as, Burnside loop, Princess Leia, and Return of the Jedi, by pumping and jumping all the way through. Next into Compartment 10, for more switchbacks and jumps, and finally swinging by Colonial Brewery and back to Margaret River town. Another awesome day for the ANZA crew who pushed hard through the pain and tired legs to all finish with strong times.

A special mention goes to Hilke Rode with a general classification finish place of 20 in the ladies and Arran Pearson for the most improved FGP training award. Well done to all of the ANZA MTB team who all placed in the top 600 out of 1600 riders. The team represented ANZA proudly and with great team spirit, plus some fun social events with the families and support crew. Well done all, a great effort!