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Teams smash expectations at start line

Saturday 25th February 2017

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Every year, GODZone competitors are chomping at the bit by the time they reach the start line. But this year, even the race organisers are surprised at the pace the leading teams have set.

Two hours and 50 minutes into the race, and New Zealand team Tiki Tour (13) are in the lead, closely followed by Torpedo 7 (21), Swordfox (17) and last year’s GODZone champions, Yealands Family Wines (31).

“Competitors always fly off the start line, but this year’s teams are definitely ahead of schedule.” Race Director Warren Bates says. “This could be due to temperatures are better, there’s good cloud cover and it’s chillier than previous days, so they’ll be trying to make good progress.”

Despite having accidentally lost his team at the start of the race, Navigator Chris Forne from Yealands Family Wines (31) was reported to be looking happy and relaxed as the returning champions biked their way up Queenstown Hill in second place.

The teams have a 19km bike ride ahead of them, before plunging into the next the next part of the multi-sport Stage 1, a 19km stretch of kayaking down the Shotover and Kawarau rivers.

Follow the race as it unfolds live here on our live tracking site, and get the latest photos and videos of the race on our Facebook page.

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