Racing for Avanti Racing has seen Gunman spend a great deal of his time in Australia on the Subaru National Series. The series has featured an on going battle between Avanti Racing and Budget Forklifts, with the two teams often going head-to-head against each other for race honours. Gunman has been right in the middle of this, and while often he has been working for the likes of teammates Joseph Cooper, Scott Law or Brenton Jones, Gunman has been busy producing solid performances in his own right.
Recently Gunman and the team were down at the Tour of Tasmania, won by fellow Kiwi Patrick Bevin of health.co.au-search2retain. “After Tour of Tasmania I came home after a good 2.5 month stint in Australia,” Taylor said. “I was starting to get a bit tired so I have been riding more so to [how I] feel since then.” While some riders will be training hard or coming out of a big block of training in order to get into condition for Southland, Gunman’s approach has been far more rest-oriented, with the New Zealand national time trial champion far from at risk of not doing enough; and more aware of the ability to do too much. “It’s been a lot of listen to the body and rest is going to be more beneficial than having to go out and smash myself,” he explains.
With Southland creeping ever closer the anticipation levels are getting higher and higher, but for Gunman and the team the goal for Southland – if achieved – will see them finally cross the line on something that has so far eluded one of Australia’s best teams. “The team is one of the strongest in Australia,” Gunman says, “But we are yet to win Southland overall. Last year we had 4 stage wins as well as 2nd overall so naturally [the goal] is to take the next step to win; and I believe we have the riders to do it.”
Within the stages of the Tour of Southland, Gunman cites the two summit finishes as really critical stages but he’s aware that with conditions always playing a strong part in the race anything could happen on just about any stage! “With the stages being so long the real crunch points are Bluff and Coronet Peak,” he says. “However apart from those 2 days, although it’s an over-used cliche everyday at Southland is a chance to lose the tour due to the unpredictable weather that can easily turn the race on its head.”
Keep a look out for Taylor and the Avanti Racing Team to be serious challengers for the overall crown at this year’s SBS Tour of Southland. Stay tuned for more updates from RoadCycling.
By: Ed Wright