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GS Trophy 2020: DAY SEVEN!

Posted By Louise C Powers 212117, Saturday, February 15, 2020

It was another beautiful day in paradise!

The 2020 GS Trophy has completed seven of its eight days of competition and the riders are still loving every minute of it. The morning dawned with pink and lavender skies in the middle of the South Island over Lake Tekapo. Riders rolled out beginning at 7:00 a.m. once again, headed straight for their first challenge about 20 kilometers away. International Female Team II rode with Team Middle East today and had a great time with a team that was all for having fun all day long.

The morning’s challenge took place in a natural half-pipe right off the road. Each rider had to drop in and ride a slalom course, including up the steep loose sides of the half-pipe, complete a left-hand full circle in loose soil, then come to a stop in a box, bike running, left hand in the air. As soon as the hand went up the next rider could begin. The score would be based overall time, but riders were not allowed to miss a cone or drop a bike.

International Female Team II did a fantastic job. All three women rode steadily and got through the course cleanly. They were not the fastest, but unlike other teams, they did not drop a bike or get themselves stuck in the loose, off-camber turn.

MOA members Lisa Taylor (left) and Louise Powers.

Riders took off from the half-pipe for a 360 kilometer day. Much of it was gravel roads over three mountain passes with beautiful views of New Zealand's countryside. The final part of the day involved riding Thompson’s Gorge, a beautiful, exposed and steep two-track leading to the second Special Stage of the day.

The challenge at the top of the windy pass was to bump start an F 850 GS in the space of about ten meters (about 32 feet in American). If the team failed the first time, they could haul the bike back up and try again, but they only had one minute to complete the task. BMW MOA member Lisa Taylor rode, while Andrea Box (AUS) and Klara Finkele (IRL) pushed. They used their whole space and got some momentum going. With the bike in a high gear, Lisa gave it a good bounce and popped the clutch. The engine turned over, but only briefly. The rules stated the bike had to start and stay running, so the girls pulled the bike back up and gave it another go. Sadly, they were unable to get it started.

Failing to bump-start the bike did not deter them from enjoying the rest of the ride through the gorge, including multiple water crossings, lots of rocks and some soft sand. It was a bit late in the day when they rolled into camp, the last teams to arrive at a campground above Lake Wanaka. This lake is famous for its tree that grows up right out of the middle of the lake. It's worth your Google time to see the many beautiful photos taken during the 2020 GS Trophy. You can also visit gstrophy.com and vote for your favorites.

When officials announced the day's scores, IFT II gained only three points on the first challenge and eight on the second. They finished out the day with a total of 109 points. Tomorrow is the final day of the GS Trophy. Word is we will have some good terrain and some incredible water crossings. All points earned in special challenges are doubled tomorrow! Stay tuned for the final scores and photos of the wrap up.

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