Roul­ston look­ing for ‘cruisy’ Mo­tat­apu

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - STAFF RE­PORTER

Olympic cy­cling medal­list Hay­den Roul­ston is known for his com­pet­i­tive­ness but says he will be look­ing for a cruisy ride with­out any crashes when he tack­les the Mo­tat­apu for the first time next week.

De­scrib­ing him­self as a rookie moun­tain biker Roul­ston said he had no clue how he would fare on the 47km back coun­try course be­tween Wanaka and Queenstown.

“I am work­ing on an 8-week train­ing camp to­wards ‘le Race’ for 29 peo­ple and rid­ing with them, so I will be fit­ter than I have been for the past few months but I have no ex­pe­ri­ence on a moun­tain bike apart from go­ing up­hill.

‘‘I will play it by ear but chances are a cruisy ride get­ting through with­out crash­ing and a nice week­end away is what this will be all about for me, I can’t wait.”

The 36-year-old re­tired from top level cy­cling at the end of 2016 af­ter a stel­lar ca­reer that in­cluded sil­ver and bronze medals on the track at the 2008 Bei­jing Olympic Games and a sil­ver medal on the road amongst his Com­mon­wealth Games haul.

Af­ter more than 20 years of train­ing and rac­ing he says he is com­fort­able moun­tain bik­ing up hill but go­ing down pre­sented ‘‘a few chal­lenges’’.

‘‘Add to that the fact I have only ever rid­den a moun­tain bike in road ped­als and road shoes and I have no idea where the course goes or what it is like – well you start to get the pic­ture of a rookie about to ride his first event!”

Com­pet­ing in the 51km Ul­tra Run this year is 20-year-old Aus­tralian run­ner Lucy Bartholomew, who is al­ready twice a world cham­pion – tak­ing out the 2014 Junior World Skyrun­ning Cham­pi­onship (Mont Blanc, France) and the 2015 World Junior Ul­tra­trail Cham­pi­onships (France).

‘‘I was over in New Zealand last year for six weeks and I was rac­ing in Queenstown for the Sho­tover Moon­light Marathon. The fol­low­ing week­end I was in Wanaka and I heard about the Mo­tat­apu and went to the fin­ish line and saw peo­ple fin­ish­ing look­ing so happy, so de­stroyed and so in­spired.’’

The event takes place on March 4 and in­cludes the 47km SKODA Moun­tain Bike, a 15km Min­ers Trail, 42.2km Off Road Marathon, a UDC Fi­nance XTERRA Triathlon (2km swim, 47km moun­tain bike, 15km run) and a 51km Ul­tra-Run.


Re­tired Olympic cy­cling medal­list Hay­den Roul­ston is train­ing for his first moun­tain bike race - the Mo­tat­apu, in March.


Thou­sands of en­trants at the start of a pre­vi­ous Mo­tat­apu moun­tain bike race.

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