Thanks to Richard for this personal perspective on the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road People’s Ride and Cycling Geelong‘s Chasing Cadel to view the Cadel Evans GOR Men’s Race 2016.
I had not registered, and did not expect to participate.
The day before the ride a friend phoned and said her husband was unable to do the ride due to work.
She asked if I would ride with her on the day. Although she entered the longer ride, she only wanted to do the 65 kms due to insufficient training.
We headed off from my place at 7:45 am and were in time to be in the final two waves to start the ride. It was a perfect day for the cycle. Not too hot, nor windy. We seemed to be passing back markers with relative ease as we snaked our way down the highway. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, as the ‘more serious’ riders were obviously long gone. The route was very flat, and so I didn’t really notice the hills; not so for my friend. She seemed to feel every slight incline and we slowed the pace down for recovery after each rise.
When we got to the food stop at Barwon heads, we still had enough time to complete the longer ride, as an official came over and advised we had 5 minuted before the SAG wagon (not bad considering we started almost 1 hour later), however we continued on the shorter ride in the ideal conditions and finished with plenty of energy to spare, stopping to have a coffee at the Quality Hotel on the Esplanade (Best coffee in town).
On the Sunday ride, Doug and I did the Chasing Cadel – with a few alterations, which had me glad I hadn’t done the longer people’s ride. No granny gear meant my legs were burning up, while Doug was merely having a Sunday stroll! We managed to see the riders in Barrabool Road, and at Moorabool Street Bridge, later at Carr Street as they turned onto Moorabool (the pack were really stretched out at this, the third cycle of the circuit). We headed to the finish line, where we caught the end of the race, and having spoken to Leigh Howard’s Mum at Barrabool Road earlier, it was great to see him come in second place on the day.
It was also a bonanza for Geelong. The sun came out later in the race, and the images must have been great, with our beautiful sea front vista. The rowing regatta was on at the same time, so hopefully Phil Liggett gave us a good wrap.