One of the great things about riding in the 5 Passes Tour, it’s a wee bit like the line in Hotel
California: “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave”.
If you’ve ridden the tour once, then you’re a part of the whanau, and we will always take a
keen interest in any future sporting successes that may come your way.
So here’s a snapshot of just some of the people who will be joining you on the start line at
Clearwater on the 24th of next month.
Just three weeks after last year’s tour, Annabelle Bramwell lined up for the COVID delayed
Ironman NZ in Taupo. It was an age group race, and Annabelle smashed it, coming home
fourth overall on a very difficult day weather wise. The effort was all the more impressive,
when you consider that she also copped a bout of COVID between events. We wish her well at
the World Champs in Kona just over a week away on the 14th of this month.
Back in its traditional time slot in March this year, Laura Wood not only made her debut over
the distance, but she also raced in the pro division, finishing seventh overall !
5 Passes riders featured prominently in February’s Coast to Coast, with four of the six men’s
and women’s one day podium places going to riders from last year’s tour. After more than a
decade of trying, Sam Manson crossed the lined for his maiden title, but not before
overcoming an epic battle with fellow tour rider Ryan Kiesanowski, who ended the day in
second- his best ever result in the Longest Day.
Simone Maier is completely on top of he game at the moment, but the gap is closing and the
depth in the women’s field is growing. 5 Passes riders are making sure of that! Fiona
Dowling measured her day beautifully for yet another podium finish- her best result in
finishing second. After a great start, Rebecca Kingsford had some back issues near the top of
Goat Pass and faded. However in a real show of character, she battled her way back to third.
Others of note….Sarah Jenkins rocked home in eighth, Flavio Vianna was the first veteran
home and finished 12th overall, Paul Gow was 17th, Duncan Rutherford 42nd, James
McCone was the fifth veteran, and Alice Mullins snuck into the top ten.
The two day race provided some great results for 5 Passes riders too. Estelle Arundell
managed her weekend superbly and was the first individual woman home
Olympic gold medal winning rower Nathan Cohen teamed up with Riche McCaw (he’ll be
our first All Black and third Crusader on tour) in the two day Tandem Teams, and they
continued to underline their magnificent sporting pedigrees, taking out the victory.
Another former Crusader, Matt Mustchin (yes he who got naked at Clearwater !) finished
43rd in the two day race. Prior to the Coast, Matt was the first veteran home in the
Waimakariri River Classic kayak race. Rebecca Kingsford was first woman home overall.
Anthony Chapman won his age group at Le Race finishing 21st overall, while Flavio Vienna,
Glen Rewi and Sam Manson weren’t too far behind. Laura Wood and Sophie Brown were
super impressive finishing fourth and fifth overall in the women’s field.
There are no doubt countless other awesome results that we could include here, and feel free
to add them to the thread in the comments section below !
Some riders have been coming for years. Chris Yeats quietly sneaks under the radar, and is
generally on the start line most years. By our rough guesstimate, this will be his 14th or 15th
tour. There are plenty of others in double figures with Lee Hatton hitting ten years this time
around. That’s not to mention the incredibly loyal support crew.
As always, veteran rider and now crew member Paul Williams has ensured that Armitage
Williams will have plenty of riders on tour, and there are a few other familiar team names.
One of the more puzzling shifts has seen the experienced Aaron Shurmers join the Fat Boyswhen you learn about their initiation process, you’ll understand the puzzlement !
If you’re not training with Pure Sports Nutrition, tear into it now. Welcome back to the tour
Simon Kraak along with sister Marewa Sutherland.
It’s always fun hearing tales from Jake Rowse’s Kiwi Style Bike Tours. Their European
season has recently wrapped up, so Jake and guides like Blair Rouse, Grant Lyon and Jimmy
Nisbet will be coming in hot, and no doubt hotly denying that as well.
So a big welcome to first timers on the tour. Some great racing and riding ahead, but you’ll
meet some fantastic people. The simple brief for those who have ridden before, is to help
make everyone welcome !
Superbly written by our Tour MC/Rider and writer Brian Ashby