Blue lakes and mountain passes.

Inspiring scenery and riding on day six of international finals.

Today was the longest riding distance of the 2020 Int. GS Trophy, but for the 22 teams of amateur BMW GS riders it offered the perfect blend of challenging riding conditions, set amid ever-changing views and majestic Western Alps mountain backdrops, finishing 440 kilometres later at the picture-perfect blue Lake Tekapo.

Special start to sixth day.

Special start to sixth day.

The usual early start (this time from Punakaiki Beach) was followed by a short liaison to the only special stage of the day – the Rent-a-Ride challenge – held at a quad track close to Greymouth. There, two of each team’s riders were faced with negotiating a technical single-trail route with mud holes, up- and downhills, and water! 

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GS power.

GS power.

But it wasn’t about speed, it was about both riders separately completing the route in as close a time as possible, with the third team member passing on instructions to help them achieve this. Amazingly, the International Female Team 2’s time difference was just two seconds, making them a close second place in this stage, just behind unstoppable Brazil! The other points awarded on day six were for the second Photo Contest, which was won by Team Netherlands.

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Distance no object.

Distance no object.

Because of the longer distances involved in today’s ride, there were no further special stages for the participants, who instead enjoyed some amazing riding. Leaving the special, they took the Lake Brunner road towards the famous Arthur’s Pass National Park before heading to Geraldine for replenishments – where they encountered the first rain of the Int. GS Trophy. 

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Destination Tekapo.

Destination Tekapo.

From there, it was possible to take the twisty tarmac route to Lake Tekapo, but those who wanted an additional treat opted for an unforgettable ride through the Orari Gorge and the Blue Mountain Station, encountering astonishing views while enjoying single track, gravel, water crossings and steep uphill climbs. Both routes were nothing less than breathtaking.

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After points were tallied up at the end of day six, Team South Africa maintains the lead, while the French in second have narrowed the gap and Italy follow close behind in third. Everything is still to play for.

 

 

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BMW GS world united in New Zealand.

''Spirit of GS'' celebrated at 2020 international finals.

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