Another day in the saddle! Summary as follows…
Garth ‘Socks Off’ Tucker
Garth joins the team for a fly-in-fly-out appearance for Stage 2 only. He joins the team as a very strong rider, despite his size he performs well both on the hills and the flats. The team are very grateful for his appearance, albeit short.
Priscilla ‘Short Course’ Barrington
Missed the opening team descriptions. Joins the team as a strong short course athlete but doesn’t have the experience over the longer distances. Risk of fading towards the end of the tour.
Fear was amongst the riders at the start of the day that Stage 2 was going to be a much harder day than Stage 1. Fortunately for the riders there was less dead road than Day 1, so less taxing on their bodies. The day started out leaving Yarck with about 55km’s of low undulating dead roads to Mansfield directly into the northerly headwind again. From Mansfield it was undulating, then the riders had to suffer a 20km climb through the Great Dividing Ranges, resulting in a final 10km decent into Whitfield. The scenery was hot dry farmland for majority of the ride with temps hitting 38.8 degrees. It made it tough for the riders, and they were relieved when the clouds came over during the main climb. Highlight was stopping for a beer in Tolmie, a tiny pub in the middle of nowhere during the climb.
Garth was only able to join the tour thanks to the amazing Hayley Creswell who drove 500km’s to enable Garth to ride the 117km stage. A drop off in Yarck and pick up in Whitfield from Seymour is legendary. What. A. Girl.
It wasn’t hard to see Garth was performing well. Strong up the hills and did his job on the front in the head wind. However it’s easy to be a One Stage Wonder!
Athlete of the Day must be given to Brad. He started the day strong and held form all day. He has exceeded expectations with his performance.
Listen to the bike shop, not the bloke in the pub!
In Mansfield we chatted to the bike shop owner about our ride. He described the climb through King Valley and descent into Whitfield perfectly. When we got to Tolmie at 80km’s in, the bike shop man had told us it was undulating to 100km’s. The publican told us it was all downhill from that point and Juls and Brad happily sunk a beer or two thinking their work was done for the day. Setting off and climbing another 20k hurt. Lesson learnt – publicans want to sell beer, listen to the bike shop for gradient instructions!
Garth joining the stage was a welcomed relief both from a physical and entertainment point of view. However it was his better half that made our day by booking a room at the same hotel and supplying cheese, biscuits and wine. Love that girl!
But the winner of the day was the view at the top of the climb and the decent down. Every up there is a down, and today’s was amazing, at least 10km’s long and not too steep that you could really enjoy it.
One more day!!