05 February 2012

Day 3 Preview

Well I totally suck at this crystal ball-gazing lark.  As I type, Ollie is getting pretty damn close to Blackball (not that the course passes through there...).

The crew have had a bit of a shocker with navigation today - the turnoff to MacDonald Downs was an issue for some, and quite a few turned away from the Wharfedale in Lees Valley.

For a large chunk of the field, Day 3 will start from Sheffield or Springfield, followed by a big old sealed climb up to Porters Pass.  The traverse to Arthurs Pass is riddled with small climbs, but a big feed, and a huge descent await.  The drop down through Otira and to Jacksons should be very fast, and then riders turn off to do a mostly gravel lap out the back of Lake Brunner.  Then, they cross the Grey River and make there way north-west to Ikamatua on the unsealed side. 

The riders will be stocking up at the Ikamatua store, assuming its open on Waitangi Day.  The Waiuta-Big River loop awaits.

Not the Big River hut at Big River
DOC took to it with dynamite since the last Brevet, so it should be a bit less arduous than two years ago.  Reefton might be a good place to call it a night for some, though, we'll no doubt see some going over Rahu Saddle to Springs Junction or beyond.

At the rate Ollie's going, I wouldn't be surprised to see him get as far as St Arnaud.  Surely Nelson's out of reach, just...