An interesting start to the day, getting a late request to do a spot on the Today Show on Ch9. An early start, but a bit of fun to get on the tv. Just ignore the fact that the presenter got virtually every detail wrong about the ride!
We were privileged to be joined by a pro for the stage, Greg Henderson, who is recovering from a big knee operation. Gregs family has recently been directly affected by cancer, so it is a cause close to home, as it is for many people.
Stage 2 is the biggest day according to sources, and for me the most intimidating. Official stage distance 156kms, but we were destined to clock more as we rode to the start, and then also back to the hotel afterwards. First climb is at 36kms, and from that point, the hills dont stop, including a real nasty bugger called Checker Hill at 56kms.
When we hit the first climb, I hung back in the bunch to try and help some of the riders who were struggling a little, I tried my best to help some riders, words of support, and catching the wind for them etc.
For a second consecutive day, the wind was blowing hard, it seems every climb was a headwind. Even a spectator yelled out ‘sorry about the wind’ as we rode past. On that note, the roadside support has been fantastic everywhere that we go. Ive seen some friends out on the road yelling out support which has been a real buzz.
Checker Hill was everything it was made out to be. Not so long (600 meters) but super steep. To give you an idea, a similar length hill back home would take about 1 minute to climb, well, this took me 3 minutes, and even going verrry slow, I was on the rivet!
From this point, the team made a point of sticking together to protect the weaker riders as the course progressively got harder.
There was a very funny moment, when we passed through stirling, a security guard thinking Hendo (being in his team kit) was an ‘imposter’, nearly spear tackled him to the ground. Very embarrassing for the security guard to discover he just tackled one of the best cyclists in the pro peleton, who was lending his time for a cancer charity, whoops! Luckily no one was hurt,
Three hilly laps around stirling later, we brought it home as a team. My legs had come good and I was helping on the front as much as the support riders woukd ket me. The noise and energy coming from the crowd up the finishing straight was electric. A great and challenging day, with lots of teamwork and support.
So, tgere is a big day down, but still many to come. The legs are aching after clocking 387kms in two days, but that is to be expected.
Final note, The staff from the Cancer Council have been so warm and welcoming, and they have been working so bloody hard to make this all work. So to the wonderful Cancer Council staff, if you are reading this, a sincere thankyou for your support.
It has been very hectic, with not much sleep, and always something happening. I am getting a bit tired, but driving-on for David.
Off to bed, its 11pm!
For the cycling geeks, here is todays file. Screenshot below.