Just back from watching the Nationals Road Race with Katrina, Benny and Simon.
After surviving some weird google navigation failures, which saw us dodging cows on back roads, we made it out to the course:
We spent most of the day on the Mt Buninyong climb and around the top of the course. Katrina and I also took the shuttle bus to the finish line for the last two laps.
We did a lot of cowbell rattling …
… and I took some pictures. I’ll let most of these speak for themselves:
At one point I hatched a plan to take an unsealed shortcut which appeared, on google maps, to link the top of the course with the fast descent down Fiskens Road. Turns out it wasn’t my day for navigating:
The road turned from fire trail to bush track, to bush. We did get to see a wallaby hopping, but no cyclists descending; around we turned and trudged back the way we came.
On the shuttle bus to the finish line we had to wait for the riders to pass and I timed the gap from the breakaway, who’d been sitting on around three minutes for most of the day, to the main group, with Cadel, Richie Porte, Simon Gerrans et al.
It was clear the winner would come from the main group at this point.
The atmosphere was electric at the finish line, and the crowd rippled with excitement as the final moves played out over the last lap.
We hollered our lungs out for our local hero but there was no holding on to Gerrans’ sprint at the end.
Walking back to the car we noticed some random oddities:
Buninyong is a great location for the event. Though the beating sun was a drain today. Maybe next year we’ll venture out for the weekend, and see the women’s and under 23s.