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Hogg and Williams victorious after tough first day

Navigation errors and misfortune characterized the first day of the 2010 Alpine Epic Mountain Bike Stage Race with Tony Hogg and Mark Williams taking two stage wins from defending champions Kashi Leuchs and Marcus Roy.

The wins, on sub-alpine routes that travelled from Mt Somers to Rangitata Gorge, came as a surprise to the R&R Sport team of Hogg and Williams.

"We were behind two teams coming into the last dash to the Rangitata River, but we got there and there was no one else there," Williams, of Queenstown, said.

Hogg and Williams finished the first stage in a time of 3:32:18.

Roy and Leuchs (Team Yeti NZ) were slowed by a poor navigation choice that left them languishing in a swamp while the third lead team, Property Syndication, saw its riders Ollie Whalley and Brent Miller marred by a string of misfortunate incidents.

"I realised we were lost coming into the Rangitata River, then I blew my tyre out, and my drink bottle disappeared when I crashed so I had no water," Miller said. "I went through a dark patch for about an hour. I had no food, no water and I was bleeding."

After leading the end of the stage, Miller and Whalley lost at least an hour looking for water and the waiting raft at the finish of stage one.

"I thought the raft was to the left and I was loving the tailwind we had - until I realised we should have gone upstream, and so we had to ride all the way back into the wind," Whalley said.

In the following stage, Miller and Whalley broke a chain and flatted at the same time.

"Someone didn't want us to win today - then my chain breaker needed a 4mm Allen key, which we didn't have with us," Miller said.

About midway through the first stage, Hogg stopped the lead riders in their tracks when he came off at speed in a rut and was thrown several metres down a bank.

All three teams rallied around what they suspected might be a serious injury, but Hogg soon remounted and was able to continue the race with a couple of gashes to his left knee and a hematoma on his left hip.

"Everyone came back to help me out - that's just what mountain bikers do," Hogg said. "We went from a bad incident, to just trying to limit our loss, to actually winning it."

Hogg and Williams won the time trial, an 18km sprint, in a time of 43:18.

Leuchs was not concerned by the time that he and Roy lost in the first stage.

"There are four big days in this race and a lot can happen - we saw that with Ollie's team today," he said.

The field of almost 80 riders will embark on stage three at 8:00 am on Thursday morning, which will take them around Mt Peel and finish in Ashwick Flat 78km later.

Full Results

Stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1R&R Sport3:32:18
2Yeti NZ0:03:08
4Running From Ken0:51:19
5R&R Whippets0:54:25
7Ex Malo Bonum1:06:50
8Packhorse 21:08:52
9pyrenees pathfinders1:12:42
10Foothold Developments1:15:17
11Worried Walkers1:22:02
12The Furries1:23:12
13Injury Solutions1:23:27
14Team Outside Sports1:26:38
15The Northern Monkeys1:28:48
16Kennedy Brothers1:28:59
18Athena Girls1:38:18
19The Sleepy Slugs1:38:32
20Team Katilda1:40:03
21Mac Attack1:46:57
22Team Endure1:47:12
24Yes Men1:55:09
25Two Pints of Beer & a Packet o1:57:36
26Are we there yet1:58:02
29Town & Country2:11:51
30The Remnants2:13:59
32racing sardines2:15:45
33Ashburton Joinery Ramblers2:17:16
34Are we there yet 22:17:20
35Team Akaroa Salmon/Urban Pavin2:25:54
37von holtz2:47:41
38Late Starters2:48:37

Stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1R&R Sport0:43:18
2Yeti NZ0:03:06
3Foothold Developments0:04:45
4Ex Malo Bonum0:07:46
5pyrenees pathfinders0:09:24
7running from Ken0:13:19
8Team Outside Sports0:13:38
9Athena Girls0:16:10
10Packhorse 20:16:54
11The Northern Monkeys0:17:57
12Racing Sardines0:18:40
13are we there yet0:18:44
14Worried Walkers0:19:03
15Yes Men0:19:55
16Ashburton Joinery Ramblers0:20:55
17Team Katilda0:21:17
18Town & Country0:22:43
19Team Endure0:23:38
22R&R Whippets0:25:00
25Late Starters
26Are we there yet 20:27:02
27Mac Attack0:27:23
28Two Pints of Beer & a Packet o0:27:25
29The Remnants0:28:06
33The Furries0:31:27
34Kennedy Brothers0:31:50
35Team Akaroa Salmon/Urban Pavin0:32:45
36Von Holtz0:33:13
37Injury Solutions0:34:07
38The sleepy slugs0:43:27

General classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1R&R Sport4:15:36
2Yeti NZ0:06:14
4Running From Ken1:04:38
5Ex Malo Bonum1:14:36
6R&R Whippets1:19:25
7Foothold Developments1:20:02
8pyrenees pathfinders1:22:06
9Packhorse 21:25:46
11Team Outside Sports1:40:16
12Worried Walkers1:41:05
13The Northern Monkeys1:46:45
14Athena Girls1:54:28
15The Furries1:54:39
16Injury Solutions1:57:34
17Kennedy Brothers2:00:49
19Team Katilda2:01:20
20Team Endure2:10:50
21Mac Attack2:14:20
22Yes Men2:15:04
23Are we there yet2:16:46
25The Sleepy Slugs2:21:59
26Two Pints of Beer & a Packet o2:25:01
28racing sardines2:34:25
29Town & Country2:34:34
31Ashburton Joinery Ramblers2:38:11
32The Remnants2:42:05
33Are we there yet 22:44:22
35Team Akaroa Salmon/Urban Pavin2:58:39
37Late Starters3:14:27
38von holtz3:20:54

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