Juz, Reidy and myself headed off at 5am, whilst the finishing touches were being made to the start line infrastructure, (at least we didn’t have to hear “Feel the Rush”, again)! As we headed along Lower NE road there were a surprisingly large number of riders heading towards Norwood. It was still dark when we got to the bottom of Anstey’s Hill. Dawn had broken through by the time I made the ascent, which marked my first time up Anstey’s. Kersbrook didn’t seem to pose too many problems either and I was feeling pretty good that I was close to Gumeracha and hadn’t spent all my energy on the first two sizeable hills.

Unfortunately at the 55km mark, my legs disagreed and the cramps started. Despite stopping at every refreshment stop and even trying the patented Peter Hill method of salty chips and a FUIC at Williamstown they continued. Ultimately the solution was to stop and rest and every hill greater than 4% saw that happen. The upside to this is that I saw most of the participants go past and managed to say g’day to Tim B, Gillian, Clive, George from GW, Andrew (Laterne Rouge), Peter Hill, Gus, CLP, Virginia, Jules Begg and I’m sure there were a few others!

It was clear by 11am that the goal of getting to the end before the pros wasn’t going to happen so just finishing at whatever time became the goal. Not doing Menglers was always an option, but it did present a great opportunity to get some further rest and get to the watch the pros in relative slow motion which was a first for me. It’s almost good to see that they hurt too! Restarting 1.5km up the hill posed its own problems, but after some minor mechanical issues the top was reached just as the KOM sign was being rolled away. By this time it was clear that what had been a stream of red jerseys ahead and behind had all but disappeared and I descended from Menglers on my own.

The little climb into Angaston just about stopped me. It was then that the SAG wagon stopped and asked how I was doing. I asked the question “Am I at the back”? The response was “No. There is ONE rider behind you.” I carried on and never enjoyed a downhill run quite as much as the downhill run into Tanunda.

They even had a roll left for me at the oval!

I was happy :-)

Views: 733

Comment by Brett G-R on January 21, 2012 at 9:36

Well Done Andrew, at least you competed, know of too many that made up lame excuses of why they couldnt do it. Its all about the challenge of finishing rather then being the fastest on the day, there were alot of speed freaks out there, not that that was a problem as long as safety to others wasnt affected

Comment by Matt Koukourou on January 21, 2012 at 14:37
Well done Wattsy! Started out real early I hear after seeing Emma arriving at the caravan park as I left for mt pleasant. Great work in getting the job done. Matt
Comment by Gus on January 21, 2012 at 14:42

Great job, well done. Seriously it is not an easy challenge and you didn't even skip Menglers Hill. Cramps are the pits but next year you'll be back even betterer!

Comment by Matt Brennan on January 21, 2012 at 16:04

Champion effort Wattsy - real gutsy ride.

I saw Emma in the wagon just after Williamstown ( I think thats where it was....honestly I had no idea where I was most of the day geographically!) but had passed her by the time it registered!!

Comment by M@tt on January 21, 2012 at 16:41

Great work Wattsy. Tried taking Magnesium supplements ? seems to have greatly helped my cramping.

Comment by CLP on January 21, 2012 at 17:09

great effort Wattsy! :)   getting out there is what's important, and being part of the event with all the atmosphere of the pro race.  

Comment by Virginia Riches on January 21, 2012 at 17:10

Absolutely fantastic ride! As another rider who's usually a fair way down the pack, it doesn't matter where you come just as long as you get there safely in the end :) And if that means unofficial scenery stops so be it! Thanks for the g'day btw, was very encouraging :)

Comment by RD6 on January 21, 2012 at 17:30

Mind over matter is what got you to the finish line  - kudos for completing the challenge

Comment by Barry Norsworthy on January 21, 2012 at 18:17

Wattsy, you are a LEGEND !!!  TRUE guts and determination !!!, and a good bloke and good company on a ride. What else does anyone need :-)

Comment by Gillian on January 21, 2012 at 19:21

Bravo Wattsy. That was a gutsy effort. Richard saw your finishing tweet as we were being driven home and we were astounded that you completed the whole thing including Menglers when 99.99% would have at least taken the escape route or, more than likely, thrown in the towel.

Can I have your autograph? :-)

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