BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2020 Oceania. Day 5. Team SA takes the lead

Day 5 changed the 2020 GS Trophy in a big way as the South Island served up a sizable new challenge: mountains! As promised, the riding intensity had been raised to a new level.   

The morning started with a steep and winding 20km rocky climb up Mount Richmond.  The riders travelled through forest which took them above the cloud base before reaching the 754m Maungatapu Saddle where they found the first test of the day: the Emirates Challenge. 


In this test all the riders had to navigate tricky trials between the rocks and bush while remembering three key flight details to be relayed to the marshal at the finish: flight number, boarding time and seat number! 
The ride down the mountain was no less tricky and for sure the riders were grateful for the coffee stop in Nelson (the capital of the Tasman Bay region), known for its spectacular sea fishing as much as the local fruit and wine cultures.

However, the coffee break was soon forgotten when the riders found themselves fighting their way up and over yet another mountain. This one was even more technical than the first. 


After a tough morning, the afternoon took on a more reflective attitude as the riders got to enjoy the spectacular ride on highway through the Gorge, to come out upon the west coast and the Tasman Sea. Here the riders found a stunning ocean road bordered by limestone cliffs and rainforest dotted with New Zealand’s unique and beautiful Nikau palm trees. 
The riders´ final destination was Punakaiki Beach were they embarked on the second test of the day: the Rab Challenge. This test brought many a laugh as the teams had to run across the beach, remove their boots, unpack and climb into their Rab sleeping bag, then reverse out, pack the bag, slip on their boots and run back to their next teammate. 
Day Five overall standings:  
1 South Africa 277

2 France 266  

3 Italy 247  

4 South Korea 233

5 Russia 212

6 Netherlands 208  

7 Brazil 205

8 Australia 192  

9 USA 190  

10 Argentina 186

11 Middle East 186  

12 Latin America 185

13 Nordic 168  

14 Mexico 165

15 UK 164

16 Japan 151

17 India 141

18 Malaysia 141

19 Thailand 136

20 Int. Female Team I 108

21 North Africa 106

22 Int. Female Team II 58