An early start, and on a morning that is finally warm enough to enjoy a nice ride we hop in the van and head west, watching in dismay as the temperature dropped steadily from 16 to 9C at the base of the Mingela Range. Great! There were roadworks that slowed us a lot, so not surprising that the Townsville riders held up proceedings and we didn't get started til after 8:30.
A Townsville rider kitted for the cold.
It was actually quite nice by the time we rolled out, but the legs were cold and it was hilly! I got dropped on only the second hill, but I managed to pass a young Woman from the Towers and stay ahead of her the rest of the race. I think I climbed more hills than I ever have at one go, but they were rolling and not too daunting. The worst part was a section where the gravel was loose and I actually slid sideways entering a turn. Amazing what a shot of terror does for the old legs though!
classic Outback racing shot!
Slightly over dressed by the finish, phew!
Speaking to the Gal who came in behind me, she said she stayed about 100m behind me the whole race. She would gain on the descents but I would 'power up the hills' and she would drop back. Well I never, me powering up hills!
So Scott won D grade on a sprint after getting dropped at one point but catching back up. I came 4th because a stronger rider flatted. It was great to meet some people from Charters Towers and I hope we go back soon. We may go back out there on our own (we can do secret hill training) because it was a beautiful ride with a fraction of the traffic we get around the city, and I really enjoyed that.
Thank heaven for compression tights after a race. My legs are shot!
...further to the rider down post, the rider is out of the hospital and gingerly made his way to the cafe Saturday. Still no firm diagnosis as to the cause of the crash.