Brimming with another lavish Tassie brekkie, we rolled out of Hobart and BANG…straight into testing climb No. 1. This rabble of cycling fanatics is now well into its Chain Reaction metamorphosis; within moments, we had transformed back into our familiarly slick, chatty, metronomic unit. Even so, the banter soon dried up, as people focused on keeping left, staying tight and cranking gears! Exam conditions for the next 45 minutes. Finally, the ‘examiner’ called time, and the team were delighted to have wriggled free from Hobart’s warm embrace.
Upon slaying the first beast of the day, spirits were high as we powered through to our first pit stop. As usual, the support crew were on hand to take care of all energy and hydration needs. They even provide impromptu and well received pep talks for the emotionally half empty. Post refuel, we quickly found ourselves in vast expanses of sparsely populated Tasmanian tundra. We followed the moody and fast flowing Derwent River through some incredibly open and eye-catching scenery. Cockatoos and various other ‘lesser spotted’ birds cheering us on up the valley. We chewed through the kilometres, engaging in a little ‘free play’ over some of the endless rolling hills and just before the 100 km mark, we bundled into Ouse’s Town Hall for a well-earned ‘carb-alicious’ lunch.
Keen to avoid any ‘post-lunch dip’, the highly vigilant support crew quickly ushered us out of the warmth and back into our battle gear. Beast No.2 beckoned. This was an absolutely crushing 25 kms, with sharp uphill sections and endless false summits. Teamwork and rotating the lead bike in each mini peloton was essential. When the team finally regrouped at Wayatinah, one could have mistaken the scene for an outdoor yoga retreat. Plenty of stretching and the usual energy boosting buffet. A sense of victory and the finish line galvanised the weary caravan into one last push ‘over the top’ and into Tarraleah. As with every successful day in the saddle, the last few clicks felt very ‘Champs Elysee’ – we had the sun on our backs, a light wind nudging us home, and into Tarraleah Estate for more ‘yoga’, refuelling and log-like sleeping…only to do it all again on Day 4! Tight chains team!
After the ride and enjoying the handy work of our massage therapists, we were ready for dinner and the presentations.
Following Marshall White's team presentations, the next lot of competition jerseys were awarded.
- Navy "Spirit of Chain Reaction" sponsored by LSH Auto Australia went to Tom Watson of the KordaMentha team
- Orange leader's jersey, sponsored by Pure Storage went to Peter Skidmore, who to date has raised more than $23,000
- Polka dot, Buildsafe jersey went to Paul Sheehan of the Lendlease/Slattery team
- Green "Sprinter's jersey", sponsored by Domain went to the speedy David Isaacs of the Saba Organics team
- Black, Mercedes-Benz Melbourne jersey went to Adam Gandolfo of the KordaMentha team
Congratulations to you all on a great effort!