This weekend sees the great annual NZ cycling pilgrimage to Taupo for THE premier event amongst the nations punters and weekend warriors – The Round Taupo race. 160km’s of MASS pack action around Lake Taupo.

Just how massed? Well, you’re looking at the thick end of 10,000 riders getting amongst it, so some pretty large bunches of miss matched cycling kit and curious bike handling skills being unleashed on the rolling course. Due to my cycle snobbery and general lack of enthusiasm for big crowds, I have never actually done this Holy Grail of NZ Road cycling, but am sure one day I will be dragged kicking and screaming into it heaving masses.

However… Before the zombie hordes are unleashed, there is a smaller, elite and quieter bunch of riders that will head off from Taupo this Saturday – Yes, the Elite bunch is usually around 75 riders strong and made up of some of the countries finest, perhaps even with a few cheeky PRO’s in there? This is the category where you need to essentially apply to gain entry and the lads will be after the $5000 1st place prize that goes along with it. How tough will it be? Well, last years winner was 3.45.14 for the 160km’s, so do the math on that and your eyes will soon start to water… Yip, not a lot of fucking around here. Not bad given the course profile:

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After 2 weeks of gorging on Sofitel Croissants, I am super glad I am not in Taupo…

One man lining up for this Saturday of suffering and making his debut in the Elite killing fields is Rivet Racing’s very own Mr Iceman, Angusandro:

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The LOOK… May actually be the person who shot Bambi’s mum

I’m quite looking forward to this weekend… Being a genuinely naturally gifted athlete, there were many times in 5 Passes where I was under the pump lapping it out and Angus still had the capacity to chat to me or look out for Photo opportunities, he’s one of those riders that never really seems under that much pressure, but I suspect that he is going to need to go to the DARK place this weekend to stay at the sharp end of the very high end field. Here he last weekend getting some practice doing so, thinning out the field on my old Otaki training loop, much to the annoyance of Robocop:

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“Dead or Alive – this is a Handicap race…”

So – A massive Dirty Shout out and GOOD LUCK to Angus and Logan for the Taupo water boarding experience tomorrow, go full gas boys and do the Rivet Racers proud! I expect to see more of this from you two please, just perhaps without the arm warmers:

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There they are, a 60kg tag team of pain

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