Author Archives: BigNose

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3P reporting

197km, WTF should be around any one of these corners now.

I don’t feel too bad and I am tracking well, I think. I don’t have any schedule taped to my handlebars (I prefer to do things on feel), I only have a vague idea that a sub-9 looks good but I find little confidence in that. To come, was what everybody had been talking about, the only thing some would talk about, the only thing some wouldn’t talk about – the climb up the back of Falls. A 35km climb to finish the Scody 3 Peaks Challenge.

The day, as with all my previous endurance events, had had its fair share of ups and downs and I am not talking about the two previous mountain passes or endless number of undulations in the valleys below.

It started with a WTF of the scary kind.

Heading from the start at Falls Creek down the descent to the base of the first climb, Tawonga Gap, my bike was shaking violently and I was really struggling to stay upright. I had felt cold waiting for the 6h45 start but I didn’t realise just how cold. The wind chill obviously made things worse but I ain’t never had the shakes like that before.

I couldn’t wait for the road to stop it’s never-ending plunge into the depths of the Victorian Alps. The first ascent could not start soon enough where I could get the temperature somewhere above frozen solid!

One advantage to my shaky start was that there were now a lot of carrots ahead and I had to keep in mind that it was a long day and the five or so minutes lost would not make that much difference to the overall.

So, heading up the first climb I immediately started to feel better, I was starting to move up the field too but just as my confidence started to recover, a rider came up behind me, quick! I felt relieved though when I saw he had race number 1 (must be famous) and after a quick chat understood he was tasked with leading the 8hr pace group. Bonus. All I had to do now was hold his wheel for the next 200km or so. Simples!

Up over the top we went together and my descending was back to normal now that I had little warm glow about me. I caught a quartet ahead and we started to work well together, however no.1 had not followed and it was obviously not his day.

Our group got bigger and the pace picked up nicely to above 40km/h as we made our way to the second climb of the day, Mount Hotham.

At the base of the climb, I soon moved off the front with one other guy who was setting a solid pace up the opening shallow slopes of the climb.

I don’t particularly like these shallow climbs and actually prefer it when it gets steeper, so I was happy to just sit on the wheel and get paced up this opening sector.

We caught up with a couple of guys, so we were obviously doing OK although we weren’t breaking any records.

After a little flat section we hit the first of three pinches that pinched up to around 10% plus and I immediately felt better, dropping my group and soloing my way over the top and on to the lunch stop which is just on halfway.

A quick stop to refill the bottles and load up the pockets with a few more tasty treats and I was back on the road. Just one more climb to go, how hard can it be?

I caught a couple of guys and we were working fairly well together now but the temp in the valley was starting to hit the 30’s and I was sucking down the juice a little too rapidly.

With over 20km to go before the next water stop at Angler’s rest, I was running dry and starting to bonk. Fortunately one of the guys in our group had some spare water which saved me from hitting the wall.

Refuelled and ready for the final climb, our group was now only 2 as we left Angler’s and headed to WTF corner where the final climb starts.

Making the turn and looking up the wall ahead, I immediately dropped my companion and settling into my pace. 9km I was told before it flattens out a bit, so time to break this up into 1km sectors with a swig of water to celebrate the passing of each sector.

I was starting to pick up some places now too as others were starting to pedal squares. I was feeling really good but was mindful of the odd twinge here and there and just had to keep the pace controlled and just under cramp-threshold.

A quick refill of the bottle at the final water point before cresting the summit and charging over the final undulations of 10km or so to the finish. By my calculations even a sub-8hr might now be on but the headwind to the finish was going to make that a bit tricky and in the end it was.

All up an amazing event with stunning scenery. The perfect conditions on the day ensured everyone had a great day.

Well done to all!