Roulston to contest Motatapu race

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
Olympic cycling medallist Hayden Roulston will line up in the Motatapu mountain bike race early next month.

Roulston (36) retired from top-level cycling at the end of last year but he has not taken long to find the next challenge as he prepares to ride in the 47km mountain bike race.

Roulston did not need much convincing to make the Motatapu one of his first events post-retirement.

``The Motatapu is an iconic event, to be honest. I have heard a lot about it but for obvious reasons haven't been able to do it, so for me it is a chance to do something totally different,'' he said.

``I'm not sure how I will go, though. I can go uphill on the mountain bike OK but going down presents a few challenges. Add to that the fact I have only ever ridden a mountain bike in road pedals and road shoes and I have no idea where the course goes or what it is like.''

Roulston is already enjoying a different pace of life as a former professional cyclist, getting the chance to spend more time with his family and build his new coaching business.

``I really have no clue as to how I will go. I am working on an eight-week training camp towards `le Race' for 29 people and riding with them, so I will be fitter than I have been for the past few months but I have no experience on a mountain bike apart from going uphill.

``I will play it by ear but chances are a cruisy ride, getting through without crashing and a nice weekend away is what this will be all about for me.''

He will still be wearing lycra rather then looser clothing worn by mountain bike riders.

``I will be in lycra, definitely I will be riding in lycra. I was at the new Christchurch Adventure Park here the other day, I was getting a few sniggers but I cannot fathom riding a bike in anything other than lycra. This is 20 years of history for me so to wear baggies - no, I'm sorry, I might fail my membership to the mountain bike club on that one.''

The Motatapu event will be held on March 4.


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