So, day 1, training camp:
90k's there. Lunch. 90k's back.
Simple equation? I think not!
When the trip down takes not much over 2 hours, without minimal stress, you know you are in trouble. And trouble we were in. It was windy. So bloody windy! We had 8 guys swapping off into the headwind and we struggled to crack 30, this was out of this world bat-shit crazy. Stupid. It should never be that windy. I hope it never is again. As my cheeks still have a bit of windburn
Cold. Snow down to 900m overnight. Summer? A Tasmanian summer at best. The rain continued, as did the ride. After 3 hours or so our route was shortened to avoid snow and save sanity. What is going on in this state?!? It was really turning on the weather for the mainlanders. Only coffee and carrot cake could save some face for this frigid land.
Mt Wellington. The one I had been waiting for. 3.5 hours of nice bunch riding, loads of ups and downs, some swapping off, some lunch and then up the climb it was. We had a bit of a race, the results showing who was strong, and who was even stronger! Everyone soon felt deflated when we came in around 10 minutes behind Ritchie Porte's PB time up the hill. Never Mind. The view ( and maybe some coke) revived our spirits after the hour of power.
Ok the pictures are crap, but at least I tried, unlike Kane (seen below), who thanks to some remaining Indian gastro gut and a sore knee found more respite in bed, rather than going up the berg, wise choice Kane, wise choice...
Today it was TV time. Local Hobart TV were swooning over the ever impressive Nathan Earle who is soon to be deemed the next best thing since sliced bread (or Ritchie Porte, or Will Clarke, or Cam Wurf). So as we rode off straight up hill (whose idea was this!?!) we had to put on a brave face and pretend not to be suffering, somehow we climbed 900m in the first 45 minutes even though none of the climbs were longer than a few k, guess they all added up. The day then followed some nice easier roads only then to send us up some more vicious bergs that resulted in the numbers being pinned on and the ears pinned back. I couldn't hold the front men. I was suffering big time. This camp was harder than a race. Then it was the half an hour swap off that really blew everything out of the legs. Lunch was on and the day was just about done. The ride back from New Norfolk to Hobart was spent reminding myself how to pee on the bike (well, to pee away from the bike moreso) whilst on the move. I am not sure if the afternoon traffic understood what was going on. I bet it looked weird.
The finale. Nearly done. It was a long early section of the ride on some roads that were so far beyond dead I think they must have been brought back to life, then killed again. They were D-E-A-D. But quiet nonetheless. Lunch was churned, coke was consumed and the last part of the ride was another swap off from hell. Everyone wanting to hurt everyone else. Perfect. A tick over 6 hours and the camp was done. Phew!
Everyone is now ready for Jelajah Malaysia!
From back on the mainland,