Christian Wengler of Christchurch is returning to defend his title in the Ford Tour of Samoa (TOS). He has been the champion since the first race three years ago this month. He is looking for a three-peat in next week’s race.
Profile: 40-44 Age Grou
Ford Tour of Samoa: 2014/15/16
SAMOA EVENTS: Why TOS this year for you?
CW: I rode the inaugural event, and fell in love with the idea of riding/racing my bike in Samoa. I also wanted to come back and try to win a 3rd time.
SAMOA EVENTS: What will be the biggest challenge this time?
CW: Trying to win for a 3rd time - there may be a target on my back.
SAMOA EVENTS: How have you prepared for Samoa?
CW: I have had a good block of training in Christchurch over the last 2 months, and in the last few weeks I entered a couple of club races to get the race feelings back into my legs.
SAMOA EVENTS: What racing have you done the last 12months?
CW: With the fitness from last year’s TOS, I raced the Noosa Tri (Queensland), Around Taupo race, and Coast Road Challenge (NZ). In the new year I raced Le Race, Graperide, and Around Brunner before taking a break at the start of winter.
SAMOA EVENTS: What were the special moments for you in last year’s race?
CW: My epic battle with the great Steve Gurney and being separated by a handful of seconds at the end. Also having my partner Rebecca take on TOS for the first time and winning the Women’s title.
SAMOA EVENTS: What unique features do you think of the Tour for you?
CW: The landscapes and scenery are breathtaking. Every stage takes us to another corner of paradise!!
SAMOA EVENTS: What are you looking forward to the most in this year’s event?
CW: A bigger field (more riders) including my brother and some of my mates, and a slightly new course.
SAMOA EVENTS: What is your take on the new course?
CW: The hills on stages 2&3 from 2014/15 were among my favourites, so a shame they are not part of this edition, but we get to ride on new roads and see new parts of Samoa in 2016. I’m excited by the changes.