With three days down and 4 to go, this day would see the continuation of the TR7 battle and the start of the TR4. The North Folk to Little Elbow stage welcomes the athletes to the pleasures of ‘K Country’ riding and delivers them to the finish line some 47km away. With the sun shining for a 4th day in a row the riders hit the trail bound for Little Elbow.
TR3 overall champion Neal Kindree decided to stick around for some more fun lining up for a go at the TR4. Kindree continued his winning ways and burned through the course in 2:24:18 crossing the line to the sounds of Motley Crew’s ‘Same Old Situation’. The TR4 Open Women kicked off the day in fine fashion and Kristin Walters was able to take the opening stage win in 3:24:54 over Ene Underwood. Fresh off a 2nd place finish in the TR3, Jeff Neilson returned to his home turf and joined the TR4 crowd winning the opening stage for the 40+ Men.
As the day progressed, welcome cloud cover swept across the skies giving the TR7 contingent relief from the unrelenting sun of the previous 3 days. Fortunately, this year would not be a repeat of the 2011 stage 4 ending downpour. TR7 Men’s Open had been dominated over the first 3 days by the Planetfoods/Honeystinger team of Stefan Widmer and Jon Firth. Today would see a sprint to the finish with Greg Day and Colin Kerr taking the stage win by a mere 1 second. Widmer and Firth would retain the overall lead. Another close finish came in the Open Mixed Category with Kiwis Tristan Lawrence and Anja McDonald cruising in by a slim 57 second margin over TR7 leaders Normon Thibault and Wendy Simms. To this point, Simms and Thibault had secured 3 straight victories.
Many fear the bears in K-Country and riders will often carry spray with them in case of a rare encounter. After a near collision with a herd of cows, the ladies of XPREZO-BORSAO, Jean Ann Berkenpas and Sandra Walter, are no longer so concerned about bears. Nonetheless, they captured a 4th straight stage victory in a time of 2:54:14. Pat Doyle and Craig Bartlett have been overpowering in the Men’s 80+ building a lead of 55+ minutes after two consecutive victories. Today, team Cycling Point, Milan Spolc and Jiri Benes came storming back for a stage 4 victory while Eva and Marco Carrer continued their stranglehold on the 80+ mixed with win number 4. LiveOutThere.com teammates Darrell Jones and Tom Ebbern scored their first stage win of the event and became the 4th new stage winners in 4 days in the 100+ Open Mixed.