I have never seen this many riders in one spot at one time. The main street of Lorne at 7:45am was a site-to-see just prior to the start of the Amy Gillett Gran Fondo and the organisational skills of Karin Jones from KSJ Events are to be commended. The family of Jones’s (Karin, Chris, Jazz and Brenton) and their large team, ensured a field of 2600 were efficiently introduced to a completely new genre of riding in Victoria (and Australia). A competitive participation ride where people are welcome to ride just for fun or to compete in a race as hard as it gets.
See a fantastic description of this race from another 6am-ers perspective here (soon!).
My view today was from the seat of my Yamaha FZ1 with photographer Rob on the back to flick off the official snaps. Rob’s Gallery here – it’s good!
We stayed with the front of the ride the whole day and there is no doubt… this is a fair dinkum race. The event is timed with the fastest time winning the race, not the first across the finish line. So the winner of this race – in fact first and second – were not in the first group across the line, which was the group I had been in the company of for most of the day. I think the first two across the line, Joel and Ciaran, were 3rd and 4th.
Big Horn of 6am-er fame rode a brilliant race. I was with him on and off throughout the whole day, observing very solid riding and monumental efforts at times to chase back onto groups and hold his position to eventually come in 9th in his age-group and 90th overall. A top effort and one I was immensely proud to watch. I know that might sound a bit over-the-top, but it really was a great ride by Horny and he should be very proud of it. Read about his perspective on the 6am-er website.
Congratulations to Karin and her crew. They did a wonderful job and to have roads such as the Great Ocean Road closed for 40k for such an event is an absolute coup. The 110km was brilliant for a full road closure event. Top day!
Next year… I’m pedalling.