Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby Percy Pig on Sun 1/Mar/09 10:09pm

woodsy wrote:a few pics from alpine epic taken by my better half

and i know results but arent tellin :lol: :rolleyes: :butbut:

Tease! :p
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Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby Chickenman on Sun 1/Mar/09 10:17pm

ryda wrote:
Chickenman wrote:I don't know about the other classes, but I can tell you who won the Womens Catagory.

Speedy-P and Ming-E, otherwise known as Sadie Parker-Wynyard, and Megan Dimozantos.

I got a txt from Megan this morning, sorry I don't have anymore info.

Woohoo good job Sadie and Megan!
I'm guessing then the results that are showing are not close to being cprrect ?


That I don't know.

But my txt from Megan, and my subsequent post were posted hours before the official results were released.
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Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby woodsy on Mon 2/Mar/09 8:13am

mokopuna wrote:Great pictures Woodsy. Those Moonglu-Thule guys lit it up!! Nic Smith is an animal!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


as my girlfriend was crewing for them as well as my mates she was saying that the photo of him crossing the line summed it up he was gutted they had just lost second place by few seconds!
she got some good really good photos of the race and no one died competing it was a member of support crew had heart attack she was saying
alpine epic-0102-0102.jpg
alpine epic-0134-0134.jpg
alpine epic-0140-0140.jpg
mmmmm yummy mud
alpine epic-0157-0157.jpg
alpine epic-0196-0196.jpg
alpine epic-0217-0217.jpg
whos bloody idea was that
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Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby rockit on Mon 2/Mar/09 9:29am

The results are up but there are a few mistakes in the teams - seems they are using an old list of competitors.

In the womens - Jo Forbes ended up in a mixed team so ignore that result. Sadie & Megan took out the Womens, we came 4th (again the competitor list isn't right for our team at the moment!).

Fantastic race - well impressed with the organisation. Great fun, recommend for next year!
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Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby ringo on Mon 2/Mar/09 9:36am

TAgree with others' experience of the event. it was the best event I've done and the organisers did a great job under trying circumstances. Everything just felt friendly and the organisers were always approachable and happy to help and answer questions. I hope that whatever happens in future years, they manage to keep the same laidback and supportive culture around it. Looking forward to seeing some of Ben's footage, except for the bit where I was stalling in a hole in the middle of a river :blush: Next up, Karapoti - pleased that I've got in a few days of mud training. (random gear note... the Racing Ralph front/Crossmark rear combo provided heaps of traction in a wide variety of dodgy conditions over the four days. I was astonished quite frankly!)
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Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby Chickenman on Mon 2/Mar/09 9:39am

rockit wrote:The results are up but there are a few mistakes in the teams - seems they are using an old list of competitors.

In the womens - Jo Forbes ended up in a mixed team so ignore that result. Sadie & Megan took out the Womens, we came 4th (again the competitor list isn't right for our team at the moment!).

Fantastic race - well impressed with the organisation. Great fun, recommend for next year!


Cheers for clearing that up.

:)
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Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby Conners on Tue 3/Mar/09 12:44pm

All I can say is WOW!

Actually - I can say a hell of a lot more that that, so here goes:

When Nick asked me if I'd be keen to head down and film the event I was stoked. I was really keen to race - but it was a huge commitment for me in terms of training etc, so I was a little tentative. As I said to Nick at the time I was really excited just to be able to be a part of the event in some way.

The race atmosphere started for me when I got off the plane in Chch on Tuesday night. There were about six of us collecting bikes, and the banter had kicked off already. Jamie Fitzgerald was the first to introduce himself - I actually didn't realise who he was until he said his team mate was Rob Hamil and that this event was going to be a bit short for them seeing as they are more accustomed to rowing the Atlantic or trekking to the South Pole unassisted!

The bus to Mt Somers on Wednesday was a mixture of laughter and nervous anticipation. Everyone was keen to get started - but the feeling in the air was one of people about to embark on a mission into the unknown for four days. Most races people have a fair idea of what to expect in terms of the course - but this was going to be vingin territory for virtually evaryone. Once at the race start point at Mt Somers there was plenty of time for everyone to get registered and build up their bikes etc. The registration process was a sign of things to come for the whole event - it was handled in a very laid back and easy manner, and the whole support crew always had smiles on their faces. I cruised the start area interviewing people, Stage 4 seemed to be the thing on most peoples minds - but that was a long way off at that point and everyone was just heading into this race one stage at a time.

Just prior to the start Derek Morrison (photographer covering the event for Australian Mountain Bike Magazine and Team RoadCraft) managed to wrangle a seat for the two of us in the boot of the lead car. This was awesome, and I got some great footage of the start shooting back towards the chasing pack. This was a great start for me - as I'd been a bit nervous about how shooting the event would go. From there I scored a lift in further ahead on the stage and into the hills. I walked my way in from the road and onto the major climb for the day - and while waiting for the riders I just couldn't stop smiling. A huge part of my keenness to film the event was to capture the landscape in which the race was run - and at this point my expectations were confirmed. I was completely surrounded by this stunning alpine landscape, and I realised that getting good footage wasn't going to be a problem at all!
I ended up walking about 10 km following the riders up and over a fairly serious climb - and into the finish and campsite at Inverary Station. I was home with the last riders, and most people had pitched their tents, washed their bikes and were chewing the fat of the days stage as they waited for dinner. The marquee was a buzz at dinner time, this is where for me the event really stepped up over traditional one day events. Now we had the 120 riders, and all of the event support crew, sitting down together and having dinner, and really getting to know one another. People figured out who their competition was, and could then set about doing battle the next day.

Day two dawned with a the campsite being completely fogged in. A quick breakfast and then I was off to my start point of the day which was at Brown Saddle - the highest point of the day where the riders crossed over to the Rangitata valley and down to the stage end at the river. Rising up through the fog and cloud into the hills above was stunning, it was looking like a beautiful day on the tops. We were pretty chilly, and Bryn wasn't mucking around in the 4WD as he needed to drop us off and return to camp before the riders oncoming riders were allowed to start the stage. It was fairly chilly, but being above the thick fog below and watching the clouds above rolling in was quite surreal - and with a couple of hours to kill before the riders arrived I got some pretty cool timelapses.

I then walked back down the track a few hundred metres where I would be able to see the riders rolling along the tops towards the climb, and then up a set of switchbacks just before the saddle. Unfortunately about 10 minutes before Kashi and Marcus turned up the clouds closed in completely and I could only see about 20 metres! Still got some nice footage through the mist, and as I returned to the top I was suprised to find that the Rangitata side of the saddle was completely clear. I set off towards the stage finish, filming riders on their long descent - which turned out to be a puncture-fest for some with spaniards and rocks taking their toll. Midway down I caught a glimpse of the finish line waaaaay out across the flat in the riverbed, and made a bee-line for it. This turned out to be a fairly hefty walk, probably did at least 10 km again on that stage. When some of the slower teams passed me I started to worry that I wasn't going to make it to the river in time to be rafted across. Not only would this be a disaster for me logistically - I really wanted to get good footage of bikes and riders being ferried across the Rangitata! As luck would have it about half the riders were still waiting to be rafted across when I got there - so I got the footage I was after, and got a lift across and ready for Stage 3 - a time trial which had already begun on the opposite riverbank. I was very lucky to meet one of the landowners who was about to head to the stage finish - he wasn't actually going to drive the course but changed his mind on my account which was fantastic! So I got a guided tour through the stage, and stopped to film wherever I liked. This was another aspect of the event which a lot of people commented on - the attitude of the land owners was brilliant. Not only were they obliging with access to their land, but they were all an incredibly friendly bunch who really got involved. And they got the biggest cheers at the daily prizegiving when Nick thanked them again - a wonderful show of appreciation from the riders which will hopefully see the event in good stead for future years.

Stage 4 was up next - claiming both the longest and most elevation gain of the event. I didn't see too many riders that morning as I was leaving early to reach my start point - but things seemed pretty quiet at breakfast. Definitely got the feeling that this was going to be a long day for some. Leaving at around 7am, we then had a 90 minute drive to Sherwood Hall followed by at least an hour of 4WDing through Clayton Station and into the Phantom River. After I was dropped off I once again enjoyed my own private show of the awesomeness of clouds rolling and dancing around in the high country. More time lapses to kill off a couple of hours before the first riders arrived. Kashi and Marcus were in front again, but only by a couple of minutes. The riders must've been at about the halfway point for the day, and had already taken in the first massive climb - but I was surprised at how close the field was. From there I then trekked with the riders over into the next basin and across the flats to their second checkpoint of the day. As I walked the flats the sight of the last climb was quite something - but the heat haze between me and the climb made it look brutal. Everyone I saw at the checkpoint was in good spirits, it had been a long day but the end was almost in sight. As I approached the top of the final climb Sandy the race doctor came through (he was just out riding the second part of the course) and told me that there was only one team remaining - so kept moving and got myself into a position where I could see quite a few kilometers of the final descent into the riverbed - as I was only going to get one chance to film any riders down there! After a long wait the last team appeared - and I got some nice shots of them. The tail end charlie picked me up in their 4WD, and we made our way back out to the road - through the remaining 13 river crossings. I was glad to be back in the Land Rover by this stage - most of the crossings were knee deep - and would've been hard work for the riders. I was a little gutted I hadn't made it this far while the riders were about - there would've been some good footage down that valley... Onto the road and the riders had a demoralising 17 km to ride to the finish. One of the coolest sights of the whole event for me was the final team coming into the finish of that stage, a big crowd formed out on the road and around the finish area as they approached - and the cheers that they received were something else. Not to mention the mexican waves from some of the marshals! This was just another example of the awesome atmosphere that surrounded the event the entire time. Amazingly the last team arrived at the finish in twice the time it had taken Kashi and Marcus to complete the course - something which they seemed to be able to pull off like clockwork. Following the 1:30 vs 3:00 split on the first 35 km stage I was impressed that the slower teams were able to guts out the longer stages and remain the same percentage down. Everyone was pretty wrecked that night, but spirits were still high with the knowledge that they would be riding into Tekapo the next day. And nobody seemed to complain when it was announced at dinner that the 4km bike carry section had to be removed from tomorrows stage due to zero visibility while the organisers were marking the course - with the same forecast for tomorrow.

"Just get to the finish" was the sentiments of everyone I talked to the next morning. And this included the likes of Marcus Roy as well as slower teams. Well - there was one exception. Matt Webber and Nic Randall (team 'Hurts so Good') were talking up a train going off the front of the bunch early on in the stage. As it turned out Matt went on his own - looked back to find that nobody was with him (not even his team mate!) and decided he'd look (more) stupid if he stopped now - so buried himself and put around a km on the field - even passing the lead car in the process! I was gutted to miss this spectacle, but had the story replayed to me multiple times that night. I was again suprised at how closely bunched the field was when I saw them at around 20 km into the stage. Kashi and Marcus were holding fort on the front but ovbiously content to stay with the bunch today. I was a little concerned when I realised that I hadn't seen Pete or Perry in the front half of the field - and when Perry came through on his own and told me the Pete had broken his frame only 15 km into the stage I could only start to imagine how gutted he would've been. Perry told me he was going to soldier on to the finish even though they'd officially DNFd - good job that man.

In terms of filming, Stage 5 was great for me. I had three spots along the course where the trail was within a kilometre of the main road - so access was incredibly easy. Most of the riders were really feeling it at the halfway point, and a long slow climb across open farmland at this point didn't help things. I caught up with Perry again at this point - I legged it to my 4WD and drove next to him and chewed the fat as he crossed the paddock. I figured he might have wanted someone to talk to seeing as he was potentially in for a long ride on his own. The next time I caught up with Perry he had made up a lot of places, and seemed fairly chipper - just annoyed with everyone asking him "where's your team mate"!!!

As you'd expect the atmosphere was awesome at the finish. Most were happy it was over, a few were sad it was finished, but everyone agreed that it was a great event. Nick, Gus and Pete were there to congratulate the riders, which was always returned with congratulations on providing such an amazing event. With the last riders coming in at around the nine hour mark (again they managed to maintain their consistency at almost exactly double the fastest time), in the rain, the race was over. All bar the shouting of course - which happened that night at the event banquet and prize giving.

So there you have it - the event in the nutshell from someone who didn't race, but probably saw the more of the event than most. Keep an eye out on Vorb TV for some of my footage in the near future, and other than that I will be burying myself in my office (and the hours of footage) at night until I emerge with a highlights DVD. Once I get my stuff from Wellington to Tauranga this weekend that is...

And to finally finsh (yes, I will finish) - thanks again to Nick, Gus and Pete for having me along for the ride. And also thanks to everyone else I met along the way - riders, supporters and marshals/officials. It really was a great crew of people, my net of mountain biking (and non mountain biking) friends was cast much wider by being a part of the Alpine Epic.
Last edited by Conners on Tue 3/Mar/09 5:00pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby rockyroad on Tue 3/Mar/09 1:22pm

Great report Conners, cool to see it from another angle! can't wait to see the footage. :)
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Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby sifter on Tue 3/Mar/09 2:29pm

rockyroad wrote:Great report Conners, cool to see it from another angle! can't wait to see the footage. :)


Absolutely! Awesome write up Ben!
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Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby Colin on Tue 3/Mar/09 2:40pm

Good read Ben

Look forward to seeing the footage soon, and later
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Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby Oli on Tue 3/Mar/09 7:32pm

Wicked stuff, Ben! It sounded as Epic as it was purported to be...Bad luck to Pete, but good on everyone who attempted this great event.
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Colin
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Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby Kakapo on Tue 21/Apr/09 2:39pm

Conners wrote:Some Epic footage here :thumbsup:


Sweet, Ben. It's whetted my appetite for more! Are you still hoping to assemble a DVD?
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Re: Alpine Epic - 4 Day Stage Race For Nz

Postby sifter on Tue 21/Apr/09 2:41pm

Kakapo wrote:
Conners wrote:Some Epic footage here :thumbsup:


Sweet, Ben. It's whetted my appetite for more! Are you still hoping to assemble a DVD?


Some great footage in there Ben - nice to see way_downsouth and Perry in the Makara Peak kit!
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