Well what can I say about this event…awesome sums up the event very well, it was very well organised and put together. Some people may of thought it wasnt a very Pro ride similar to Sydney to the Gong, however it was so so much more than that.
The route on the face of it looked fairly challenging, with the undulations of the Great Ocean Road, followed by a 9.1km climb and then a uphill finish. I had opted to start in the 3rd wave of 200 riders. All on closed roads!
Sunday Morning arrived, with a little overnight rain, however we were greeted with great sunshine and a sight with over 2000 riders lining up in the centre of Lorne for the start.
The start was delayed due to a injured Koala being on course (I kid you not) and then we off shortly after wards. An initial bunch formed which was mainly dominated by Tour De Cure riders and Total Rush riders, we split off the front of our main group as people did turns on the front and just took in the experience of riding on the Great Ocean Road, with no fear about traffic and enjoying the amazing views, which were basked in early morning sunshine.
The first significant climb started at the 40km mark, it was 9.1km long with an average gradient of 6%, I was expecting it to be a fairly hard climb, however the smooth road and lack of steep rises in the climb meant that I was easily able to settle into a decent rhythm and keep the cadence high, I got to the top in 29mins, which although wasn’t lightening fast, I made sure I didn’t blow myself up as I knew the final part of the route was going to be tough. By this stage the original bunch had been blown apart and I got into a small group with a few of the Tour De Cure riders and some other stronger riders, by this stage we had started to catch a number of bunches from the group in front and were making good time.
The middle part of the event was quick, over rolling roads, with a number of shortish climbs along the way. Plenty of people were on the side of the road, the bunch worked well together and again we were still catching people from the front groups.
The final 10-15km were pretty brutal, anyone that thought on the face of it, it would be an easy ride would be wrong, I had been pushing pretty hard all race and although I still felt strong, I was pretty smashed from the effort that I had put in so far. We were still catching bunches and as well approached the first climb, myself a couple of others used the hill to our advantage and made our way through a group to get a slight gap, fortunately there were more people further up the road, so used them as an aide to chase them down and bridge across, once across, again we looked to try and move bridge again to stay away from the main group behind us, this was pretty successful, with about 6 of us going alone and putting our head down to the finish. I sprinted to the line with one of the guys and beat him to finish the event.
Overall a top event, I cannot put a price on how good it was to ride the GOR on closed roads, with no traffic and amazing weather. It was truly amazing and I recommend people give it a go. You can make it as competitive as you want or not and I really enjoyed the event.
Results for me:
Total Time was: 3h19m13s and finished 11th in my Cat and 122nd in the general ranking out of over 2500 riders.