Geraldine, New Zealand – It was either a sharp rock or the dead hedgehog in the middle of the trail that started the day’s drama for the Kona Endurance Team. Overall it was a good day. Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon (Kona Team B “Grumpy Old Men”) motored across the 106km Stage 2 from Geraldine to Fairlie, taking second on the day and bumping up to second overall behind the juggernaut duo of Dan McConnell and Anton Cooper.
Meanwhile, about one hour into the day’s ride, deep in the Orari Gorge, Spencer Paxson suffered a large gash in his rear tire. “I don’t think it was the dead hedgehog I bunny hopped,” commented Paxson, “just one of those bad luck moments where I found the one perfectly sharp rock hidden in the grass…it was bad enough that it took a long time to repair, and it was still compromised and I flatted once more before just before the first aid station…we hemorrhaged sooooo much time.”
The mishap quickly plunged Paxson and his teammate Cory Wallace (Kona Team A, “Bogan Burnouts”) deep into the back of the field, “probably out of the top 100,” said Cory. But the pair put their good attitudes and “training camp” approach to work, and clawed their way back to 4th on the day, and held on to 3rd overall. “I guess we limited our losses as best we could after the flatpocalypse, “said Paxson, “it’s easy to make the most of it no matter what when you’re in an amazing part of the world and such a gorgeous landscape.” On the bright side, the boys have a whole week of amazing terrain to cover, and Cory and Spencer will work to keep Barry and Kris in the hunt for yellow.
Tomorrow’s Stage 3 grinds 74km from Fairlie to Lake Tekapo, with a 1,000m climb right out of the gates. Follow the action here on the COG and on the Pioneer website. Also be sure to check out the great photos coming in through the Kona and team riders’ Instagram feeds.
Full Results here.