Life as daddy day care has continued at pace. So much so that MMT has realised that he’s only got about 4 weeks left before he returns to work… the horror….Nooooo!!!!. MMT had a long ‘do to’ list that hasn’t quite worked. One of those items, that has been sadly neglected, has been this blog. Whilst MMT has been on the bike, training with his new club Rapha Cycling Melbourne and doing longer versions of the events he did last year, not much blogging has been occurring. Another new development for MMT was signing up for Strava for the first time this year. At some point in the not too distant future, MMT will write about what it’s like to be a new member of RCC and his impression’s of Strava.
The subject of this blog is one of those recently completed events, the 2017 Cadel Evan’s Peoples Ride. Team MMT stayed in Geelong three nights to soak up the atmosphere of, what event organisers are hoping will be become, a modern one day classic. Team MMT really enjoyed the ‘buzz’ around Geelong for the race. The event village, finish/start line and sponsor’s pavilions were ideally located on the foreshore. Good weather for the People’s Ride, Men’s and Women’s races seemed to draw the crowds out around the course.
MMT’s first attempt of the 111 Km version of the People’s ride was pretty tough experience. A quick look of the course profile can provide some insight into why this so. The first 50Km or so is easy and very scenic, particularly the segment between Barwon Waters and Torquay. However the fun starts on the hills just outside of Bells Beach where a vicious ‘W’ shape contains the KOM climb. Looking at Strava, these hills range between 4.5 and 6% on average. Honestly, they felt much tougher than that and I had to walk some of last two. Happily MMT made it over the top of the KOM by myself. After that it’s quite manageable up to the final Aid Station Moriac at kilometre 82. After that it begins to become quite nasty. There are 6 steep climbs in the backend of the course that I found difficult.
By far the nastiest of these is the very last section, Queens Park Road to Melville St, which if Strava is to be believed, ranges from 5% to a whopping 19%. That’s a proper Belgian Col and I only saw one guy make it up over the top. How the pros ride over this hill three times, fast, is a mystery to me. The other sections range in the 5 to 7%, with the hills around Ceres (up to 7%) and Scenic Road (up to 11%) being the toughest. I think I had to walk on least four of them. I was really underdone coming into this event. Next time I’ll need to add some hills to my training and not get pneumonia.
On the course itself, I have to say that I though the positioning of the aid stations was really off. The Aid Station in Torquay, should have been after the first climbs, not before it. The first aid station, intended for the shorter course, I assume, was at kilometre 29 in Barwon Heads. The Torquay station was less than 20 kms further down the road, on the flat part of the course. In hindsight I would have stopped there and not Barwon Heads. Moriac station was about 35km further on. The finish line was another 29Km after that.
IMHO, the Torquay station should have been a few kilometres after the KOM at kilometre 62. Similarly the Moriac Station should have been around kilometre 92. The printed collateral which I’ve re-produced here, also had some errors. First the long version course was 111km not 114km. Not sure why there was a screw up measuring the distance. Also the distance between the stations was completely wrong. Not sure who has been doing their proof reading.
So here’s my Strava log for the event. Have to say that a Suffer Score of 136 is not something MMT would hope to repeat anytime soon.
So onto a few photos, some taken by MMT, others by course photographers. Happily, none of these guys took a photo of me walking up a hill 🙂
So the big question is will Team MMT try this tough course again next year??
Until next time, ride safe