Today was tough. We knew it was going to be hot but man alive, my body is heat regulated yet.
On the final stroke of the town clock we set off. It was still quite cool but a long way to the Minerva soup stop. 50kms or so of almost continuous climbing.
My back said" Howzit", first tightening up horrendously and deep pain then I started to struggle to breathe.
So there was way more stopping than I had hoped for.
One green and red pill later one problem was taken care of.
More walking followed on every hill which helped the back and breathing but made the day longer than it should have been.
The Umko valley was awesome with the new single track making it much more rideable but a puncture was more delay as the heat built.
A picnic stop and water top up before the notorious Hela Hela climb did a little to help with the heat but a tailwind and 35 degrees plus was brutal. Lots of walking ensued and trying to cool off in the meagre shade.
Once on top the wind cooled us a bit and the last 16k felt better.
10h40m. 106km 2680m ascent