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GS Trophy 2020: DAY FIVE!

Posted By Louise C Powers #212117, Friday, February 14, 2020

It was the hardest day yet!

Day five of the 2020 GS Trophy started off at a much more reasonable time than the previous day, but it would prove to be far more of a challenge. Riders set off beginning at 7:00 a.m. and were off-road and climbing within a few short kilometers.

GS riders from the States would say the passes today were very similar to those of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Think steep, winding, loose and rocky. There were a few extra challenges thrown in such as small water crossings and traffic jams as riders struggled to get up rocky steps or keep their bikes on the track.

International Female team II rode with Argentina today, and the women did extraordinarily well on the trails. At the top of the first pass, they encountered the first of the two Special Stages of the day. The first stage was the Emirates Challenge. Riders had to ride a steep, loose course while looking out for someone holding a plane ticket with a seat assignment. Lisa Taylor had a clean run on the course. Klara Finkele of Ireland went second, and struggled with a few bike drops; Lisa helped her up and along. The final rider was Andrea Box of Australia, and she had a clean run also. Unfortunately, this challenge had a time limit of four minutes for all three riders, and the women went over time. We would have to wait until the evening’s scoring to find out if they were awarded any points for the Stage.

After that challenge, riders headed over a second pass to their lunch stop. The most difficult part of the ride was over with at this point, and the afternoon had relaxed, sweeping gravel roads through forest and farms and 150 kilometers of beautiful, scenic twisty pavement.

During the course of the day, IFT II and Argentina picked up IFT I, consisting of Claire Bichard (FRA), Nikki van der Spek (NLD), and Isabela Lodono Rivas (COL), and they all reached camp in time to set up tents and head to their second challenge of the day.

The second Special Stage of the day was the Rab Challenge. One of the 2020 GS Trophy supporters, Rab, donated tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads and functional clothing for all participants. This challenge had riders in a relay. Each member of the team had to run from the beach to the campground and find a tent set up with a sleeping bag lying in front of the vestibule. They had to pull the sleeping bag out of the compression sack, unfurl it into the tent, remove their boots and climb in. Then they needed to zip themselves in and promptly reverse the whole process, including returning the sleeping bag to the compression sack and running back to the beach.

The women all had showers and dinner, and headed down to a bonfire on the beach, where a stage had been set to reveal the day’s scoring. High on the cliff over the beach, “Make Life A Ride” shown brightly against the rock and the riders all congratulated each other on their fantastic day of riding.

IFT II received three points for the Emirates Challenge, despite going over time, and another three for the Rab Challenge. Despite only being awarded six points on the day, the women smiled, cheered for their team and are hoping to make up for it with the day's photo challenge.

Tomorrow brings 440 kilometers, approximately 80 kilometers more than today. Riders will see more of beautiful New Zealand and try to win more points in the Special Stages. Come back and find out how they do! Remember to cheer on our BMW MOA riders in this year’s GS Trophy Challenge!

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