The CRI Junior tour was the second tour that we would be competing in whilst in a training camp in New Zealand. The CRI tour is held just outside Rotorua consisting of two road races a criterium and an individual time trial.
The first stage was an 80km Road race where we completed 4 laps of 20km courses that had small undulations. I used the first 10km to warm up and I hit the front trying to pick up the pace over the small hills. At about the 30km mark I found myself off the front again with some other rider and we swapped of turns for about 10 km until the bunch mowed us down. The race was turning into a race that no one could get away until a powerful attack came from the subway rider at the front and he and one other got away to the finish on seconds ahead of the field. I decided to stay in the bunch to t he finish of the stage knowing that we still had a 10km ITT later that day and I could make up a lot more time there than wasting energy to get minor placing. My end result was 32nd in the bunch and I was still fresh for the afternoon’s time trial.
Later that day was the ITT which was a out and back course down a hill and back up it again. The MTBA team had rider’s starting 30seconds apart and I had 4 riders ahead of me from our team. I started fast and had caught Ben Forbes who was 1min ahead at the start i could see Jacob Langham only 100m ahead and powered up to him at the turn around. I pushed the pace on the climb on the way home and nearly caught Ben Comfort who started 1min30second ahead but missed out by 20 meters. My end result was 12 and I was happy with that for only having TT bars and not a bike like most of the other NZ rider.
Stage three was the criterium that I was dreading as I got dropped in it last year and was pulled out .I moved to the front straight away and found a good spot to overtake anyone in front of me. I played around on the front and then drove it up the hill leaving a gap to the field .whilst being away I noticed that I could go faster by myself because I could corner without the troubles of the riders in front or in the road of my line that I wanted to take. With about 15min to go one other rider joined myself and the a few laps later one other so we put the power down and extended our lead coming into the final lap I was on the front and decided to not break through the tight downhill corner and just use my skill and I got a gap on the other two riders so I started to sprint. They crawled back up but it was too late and I Won the final sprint and claimed the stage victory. I was very thankful for the MTBA team as the didn’t chase me and let me go for victory so it is more of a team victory than just a personal one.
The final stage was a 90km Road Race that consisted of 6 15km loop my job was just to sit in and try to get away at the end but since that came around I was cramping all of the last lap due to the exhaustion that I got to from the criterium that morning. I managed to better my place and got 8th on the stage that moved me into 7th over all on GC.
I was happy with the results from the tour and would like to thank Greg and David the coaches for helping myself and the team on the trip as well as the MTBA team for not chasing me whilst away in the crit.