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20 April 2012 No comments

WCR Grand Tour Upd8.

Events Sports Cycling Travel & Adventure Cycling
WCR Grand Tour Upd8.
Why is this beast bleeding from the mouth? Ask WCR Thrillseeker Niel Coventry Brown... Ladies! Gentlemen! Say Hi to Kristina Storey! At the start of the month, Kristina packed her bags, hopped on her bike and joined the WCR Grand Tour in search of the Guinness World Record for Fastest Circumnavigation of Any Planet by a Female. She is already bringing up the average Sanity Quotient of our increasingly loopy Peloton of riders, who find themselves flung to the four corners of the Earth, and combatting the gradual onset of Saddle Fever. Of course, it's inevitable that when one puts a man on a bike and sends him out in all sorts of weather for upwards of ten, twelve hours per day, every day, his mind will sooner or later start playing tricks on him. Martin Walker, for example, thinks he's been sitting in an airport for three days. Oh, wait. He has been sitting in an airport for three days. Or had been, at least, until yesterday. He decided a change of continent would do him good, but wasn't keen on forking out extortionate flight change costs. So he had 72 hours before check-in opened to take stock of how things had been going for him. First man to greet him off the plane in New Zealand was none other than his mile-clocking Nemesis Mike Hall! Or maybe he just imagined it. Sickeningly, Martin discovered this morning that his camera and log book are currently missing. Hopefully he has remote uploads. Mr. Hall has been quick to eliminate himself from the list of suspects. Meanwhile, Sean Conway has his neck firmly braced, and is firmly out there where the buses don't run, eating crows for breakfast by the look of him (see below). The Rollercoaster of Emotions which he has ridden these past weeks would, in fairness, test the mental stability of... um... a very mentally stable person indeed. And Sean is nothing if not very mentally stable, generally speaking. He's tearing along again, anyway, and it's almost as if he hadn't been recently hit by a truck, sustaining nasty leg and spine injuries. (Left) Sean Conway, teetering on the brink. (Right) Niel's imaginary friend told him to share this. Niel Coventry Brown is still in South America. He has encountered much of the indigenous fauna on his trip, and reckons he inadvertently rode over an alligator last week. You sure that's not the half gallon of Cola talking, Niel? The Real Thing. Niel unwinds in the plush environs of a Bolivian motel bathroom. No, seriously. Niel rode over an alligator last week. Having lived to tell the tale, Niel was then forced to negotiate a lot of rough roads used by a lot of rough drivers. He's in Brazil now, and his blog has several excellent posts covering his impressions of the time thus far spent in South America. One man with a famously healthy appetite on the Tour is Richard Dunnett. He has just finished the New Zealand leg of his ride, and is heading for pastures greener. While having cracked the 10000km mark, he has been a little disappointed with his recent daily mileage. Mike Hall and himself managed to catch up for a quick Carbo Load before he left. What are the chances? Pretty good, actually. Half of our racers are currently in New Zealand Stephen Phillips is fairly sure he's in New Zealand. He may have been tempted during the occasional bout of madness to smash up his bike over the past weeks, because since rejoining the fray, it's been all headwinds, cold rain and punctures. He had resisted the urge until now, but the airline charged with expediting his luggage to Wellington very kindly did the job for him! He has filled out the necessary forms, and is rolling with a bent disc and dodgy headset. His tent and air mattress are also slashed. We think he probably isn't making this up. His Twitter feed currently consists of sentences which describe what he's just had to eat. Plenty of kiwi fruits, unsurprisingly. Irishman Simon Hutchinson is feeling none the worse for his recent spill in Perth and is motoring through the Australian outback as we speak, while Stuart Lansdale has been using his downtime in Bangkok to update his travel journal. His new frame will be there any day now.