Louis had the fastest qualifying time up Buena Vista Avenue, a massive 700m hill climb at the first stage of le Tour de White Rock.
“With no run in and just a held start you just need to go as fast as you can so you can get a lead up before the hill really starts,” said Louis, “you really need to pick up speed and hold onto it throughout the climb.”
With the top five moving on to a race-off, the five qualifiers set off again up the 16% gradient hill, with Louie coming home in third place.
“The second time round was way more tough than the first time, it was the most painful minute of my life,” said Louis, “we were all lined up side-by-side, and I stuck with the guys until the bottom of the climb.”
Louis then planned to get onto a side of the road that he found favourable, but he got caught behind another rider who slowed him down.
“I couldn’t accelerate on the climb, I have the power to accelerate but I am too big on an incline like that,” said Louis.
“The hill is so steep that I am surprised none of the boys got altitude sickness,” said Director Sportif, John “Harry” Harris, “You literally pass God on the way up!”
It is a difficult race to pick, said Harry, it is just one of those races where it goes with whatever happens on the day.
Harry is happy for the podium finish, but is still expecting more from the team over the last two stages of le Tour de White Rock.
Tomorrow the team will be racing a criterium, followed by a road race on Sunday (Monday NZT).