Two blondes and a red head are driving to Mount Gambier, what major highway do they take? … We started in Melbourne, after Chloe (left) had travelled from Bright, Nicole (middle) from Frankston, and I, from home in Traralgon that morning. Starting in Ormond, we were (supposed to be) faced with 456kms of driving. When we realised that we were lost in Seymour; 503kms to go! When we arrived in Daylesford for dinner and no available toilet paper; 372kms to go. After stopping for snacks and petrol in Ballarat (pictured); 326kms to go. Playing chicken with the train in Lake Bolac; 225kms to go. Finally on the road to Mount Gambier; 162kms to go. An obscure vomit smell; 103kms to go. Back to civilization; 5kms to go. Our arrival in Mount Gambier was highly awaited after 623kms of travel, but to our disappointment, we were unable to sleep as silence wasn’t something we were used to after spending 7 hours in the car! By the time our heads hit the pillow, it was already morning!
We went into the race with mixed emotions. It was Chloe’s first handicap, Nic was the reigning female champion, and I was reminiscing Davo’s motor pace sessions. We had breakfast at 10am, I stripped down to my bra to remove my undershirt on the start line at 10:19am, and we rolled out at 10:20am. With limit 20 minutes up the road, it was a matter of counting down the kilometres. With 110kms to go, we hit road works, and I hit a cone with some serious force! With 76kms remaining, we sighted the one and only hill in the entire race. Then at 60kms to go, only 5 of the 15 group members could manage a turn. We were yet to seize the bunch in front, still hadn’t caught sight of the bunch behind, and only the girls seemed to have enough drive to compete for the win. Eventually, when I felt that our group had lost all hope in the closing 10kms, I rode away solo. The legs certainly felt the pinch, but it gave me 12th overall, third female, and the fastest female time! Nic and Chloe managed second and third fastest, something to celebrate (pictured).
At the presentation dinner, we discovered that the scratch markers were close behind, not a bad effort after waiting 5 minutes for road works! We were also told that Chloe was 30 seconds from winning a brand new frame! Prior to leaving, we raided the tables for small chocolate desserts, and headed across the road to McDonalds, which wasn’t a good idea as we knew the manager, resulting in huge amounts of free food! Another night of continuous conversation saw us fall asleep mid-sentence while watching animal planet, before waking to room-service breakfast in bed! The seven women to contend the criterium on Sunday seemed extremely unmotivated after watching the C grade field run into the barriers just beyond the finish line. But nonetheless, after a neutral lap of the 1.4km undulating circuit, I was solo again! I stayed away for the whole 25 minutes to take the win, with Chloe claiming the sprint for second. We would need the money for extra food on the road trip home, direct, this time via Geelong =)
Results: Alex Robert's 100 Mile Classic, Mount Gambier, 152km Handicap
Results: Murray T Martin Pharmacy Criterium, Mount Gambier, 25minutes