Just got back from doing the Grand Fondo with some great friends.
What a fantastic and challenging ride, that was even better organised with awesome competitors. Having the entire road closed off was fantasic and made it way safer for everyone than our local TDU ride. (just my opinion) The organisers and Victorian Police should really be congratulated as should all of the riders. If anyone has considered doing this ride, do it, you definitely wont forget it.
i was just about to post the same thing!!! just got back myself.
it was really well organised and the route is fantastic, all the volunteers deserve a huge congratulations!! =D
thankfully the rain held off till after i had completed the ride hahaha, hopefully there weren't more casualties for the day..
best wishes to the guy who hit the ground on the descent after Skenes hoping he's not in too much drama :(
Well tell us a bit more Damien and Brett! How far? What towns did you visit? I think you mentioned, Brett, that you were heading up into the forests? How many riders? And how did you go? Average speed?
the timed distance was 109 or so kms, but overall i did 121kms :)
David did a good job of mentioning what towns through, favourite part would have to be the Skenes creek climb... yes it was a pain in both legs but it was just great. the Otways is just amazing really, the descents were great, their corners are banked properly, not like here where the road turns but the camber stays horizontal. my rider number was 3937 so there was atleast that many lol then behind us were the Medio Fondo (just doing the 40km to Apollo Bay) there were heaps of riders lol.
i went alright, luckily the two guys i went with were strong and they basically towed me along the first leg getting past about 1000 riders lol, i finished about 2500 overall with a time of 4:45hrs, after the ride there were a few things that i reflected on that dramatically affected my time, such as chatting going up Skenes which would have taken about 7-10 minutes, slowing down due to someone coming off down a descent which probably took about 1 minute, stopping at 2 aid stations to refill water and relieve myself which took up about 10 minutes again, dropping my energy bar and going back to get it so there's 2 minutes and i suppose slacking off a bit on the long flat to Deans Marsh. So i probably could have been looking at a time of 4:20hrs maybe... i averaged 23kmh over the timed period and 24.9kmh overall.. thanks to the final downhill run ;)
not bad considering that's my biggest ever ride and i've only been on the bike for 1 year now.
i recommend it totally!! and i did see an Adelaide Cyclist jersey in the mix lol and a few S.A jerseys.
+1 to the above comments, it was a great and very well organised event.
It starts in Lorne and the trip along the Great Ocean Road with no cars was just an absolute blast. Then there is a right hand turn and you head up into the Otways, the climb is almost 10kms long, but is a nice steady gradient that lets you get into a nice tempo. After that there are a few nice descents (max 77kmh) and about 30kms of nice rolling roads through forest and farmland before getting to Deans Marsh. There the last bit of climbing starts, a couple of fairly gentle climbs around 1km long and then a final kicker to the finish line, probably around 8% for 1 km. That is where the timing finishs, but there is then a nice 10km descent back down the hill to Lorne.
The weather this year was absolutely perfect, a bit overcast and around 12 degrees with only a light wind.
I had a great ride, finished in 3 hours and 2 minutes for 42nd overall and 5th in my category (50 to 55).
anyone qualified in their age categories for the European Grand Fondo's ?
Just had a look at the Gran Fondo website......
3356 completed the ride
205 South Australians completed the ride
Full results attached...........
Did a quick filter on SA riders and those I recognised as AC'ers .....
Congratulations to all who rode.... great effort!
Credit to Jeff Schulz ( 35.6km/h average speed ) + all the other SA participants
Some of the guys I went over qualifired.
Sure Schultzy qualified for sure.
Miss V and I went over on the friday and stayed until the monday. Really enjoyed the ride and the general atmosphere of the whole weekend was amazing. I wore my Adelaide Cyclists kit loud and proud :)
We didn't set any land speed records, but we weren't intending to, preferring to cruise and enjoy the ride and take in the scenery.
so it was u i seen in the AC kit at the starting line !
Very likely! :D
I spotted another AC jersey on the saturday cruising GOR.. though not sure who that was
I've only just got home stayed a couple of days in Warrnambool after the ride. Can only echo the other sentiments expressed great ride, great organisation, great route, great atmosphere. My time was sub 4.30 I think which I was happy with but I know where i can improve next year. RIde much harder on GOR keep the head down up Skenes to Mt Sabine and don't get fooled by the finish. That was the way we drove in and seemed much harder in the car than it actually was mind you after a 100kms it wasn't easy. I also got held up by the crash at the top of Sabine (that's what the police called it) not in it but close and not really a useful witness in the end but had to wait for a little while. Touch of wheels is all it takes. The most injured rider was in a mess lot of blood especially around the head (here it comes) good job he had a helmet on. Second ambulance came up also to ferry a couple of other hurt riders down. Simon Gillett at my briefing mentioned they did not need a band aid last year bit different this time.
If I had any criticism it would be the start. The instructions were to be there at 7.45 am. Fine if you were starting at 8.00am but for those of us at the back decided by your nominated speed and order of registration it was lets say poor. I started moving at about 8.25 am that was just forward not actually riding. Maybe you could blame them for their clothes choice but some riders were shivering like crazy for quite some time prior to actually being able to move. I had nominated 25-30kph but I overtook a lot of people along the great ocean road that were just getting in the way and clearly were not honest about their speed.
I rode in the 50-54 year group and the winner of that did a sub 3 hour time might even have won the whole thing I will have to check later.