Today we got to experience how a world class cyclist trains as we did the training loop that Richie Porte completes when he is back training in Tassie. For a pro-cyclist it might be an easy ride, but for our group it was no easy feat after a big ride of 170km’s the day before – there were plenty of sore bodies. However we pushed through and it was a great achievement, a highlight of the week so far. The scenery was spectacular and a few of the riders even outperformed Richie on some of the strava segments!
The sun was up as we rolled out of Launceston but it was still chilly. We settled into some team riding with a lot of rolling climbs. There was a morning tea stop at the Scottsdale Football club and then it was into ‘free play’ where riders could go at their own pace and push themselves as slow or hard as they wanted on the climb, and then it was onto the Lillydale campsite for lunch. Knowing we only had another 34km’s to ride after lunch, everyone was pretty keen to keep moving after lunch to get back to our Launceston hotel where we could enjoy an afternoon of ice-cream, massages and beer!
Whilst this is my first 7 day Chain Reaction ride after completing two women’s ride, I’ve also been part of the support crew on four rides in both NSW and QLD. After seeing how a 7 day ride operates ‘behind the scenes’ and the comradery that the group have, I was keen to experience and ride a 7 day event.
As a female cyclist, I did have concerns about my cycling ability and whether I’d be able to keep up with the group. However the training over the 12 weeks in the lead up to the event has been fantastic. Coach Dave McKenzie has put us through our paces on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning and I was told that most of the training is actually harder than the week long ride, and to remember it’s not a race. It’s a week long cycling trip with a great group of likeminded people all encouraging and pushing each other up the hills and down the descents and all working towards raising funds for Very Specials Kids and the Starlight Children’s Foundation. At the end of each day as we roll in to our hotel, there is a sense of achievement and relief as we gave gotten through another day safely. This is supported by the amazing support crew around us including a doctor, paramedic, bike mechanics, massage therapists, representatives from the charities and the Chain Reaction team. We couldn’t do it without the support of these amazing people!
Following Saba Organics team presentations, the next lot of competition jerseys were awarded.
- Navy "Spirit of Chain Reaction" sponsored by LSH Auto Australia went to Paul Higgins of the PwC team
- Orange leader's jersey, sponsored by Pure Storage went to Sebastian Catalfamo of the Marshall White team
- Polka dot, Buildsafe jersey went to Chris O'Connor of the Saba Organics team
- Green "Sprinter's jersey", sponsored by Domain went to two winners today, Kevin O'Keefe of the Lendlease/Slattery team and Chris Mallalue of the Marshall White team
- Black, Mercedes-Benz Melbourne jersey went to Mario Papaleo of the KordaMentha team