Inside the Peloton Day 1 Sydney

26 Feb 2023
Legs shaved, Lycra donned, the show has hit the road! The 45-strong peloton has begun the 1000km week-long charity ride in Christchurch, New Zealand. Time no more to fret about whether enough training was done whilst meeting work & family commitments, sacrificing creature comforts such as a full night’s sleep or that glass of red with dinner, to bank the pre-dawn miles to get us up and over Middle Earth.

After 4 months of riding 4-5 times a week, we’ve been told to “trust the taper” and dial the riding right back this past week, to start the challenge with fresh legs. This makes for a slightly nervous peloton, reacquainting themselves with rebuilt bikes: a combination of first timers, old hands, and riders coming from interstate and overseas.

Our thoughts go to bunch stalwarts that couldn’t be here, either because their bones didn’t knit back together in time after training injuries, or if they did, then work got in the way. But then Charles is booming out “OV-ER” to signal a lane-change for the peloton, a comforting familiarity, and we settle in.

The highlight today was a loop over the volcanic crater rim south of Christchurch. This required a 500m climb, 7km at 7% to loosen the legs, about twice as long and twice as steep as Bobbin Head East in Sydney. A decent opening salvo and a confidence builder for the week ahead.

Each evening we hear about the impact of our fundraising. Tonight…Charles Moore, Director at Chain reaction shared the story with the group of how Chain Reaction was formed. There is no doubt we are all truly fortunate to be able to ride our bicycles in this event, and thankful for the support of our individual and corporate sponsors.

After dinner, the peloton recognises riders' hard work by awarding sponsored competition jerseys, similar to those awarded in grand cycling tours. The winners were:

Orange, Leader jersey, sponsored by Pure Storage, went to Dave Southon 

White, Young/New Rider jersey, sponsored by Dynamic Projects went to Kevin Kuechler

Black, Spirit of Chain Reaction jersey, sponsored by LSH Auto went to Mike Carpendale

Green Polka Dot, Sprinter jersey, sponsored by CBRE went to Mark Otterson

Congratulations to all of our 2023 Sydney Challenge Day 1 competition jersey winners.

Fun facts Day 1: Christchurch Loop
Distance: 77 km
Metres climbed: 782m 

Photos from the day: CLICK HERE
Daily Video Highlights: CLICK HERE