Close to 4,000 riders lined up at the start in waves that filled the entire main street of Lorne. Traditionally the quietist weekend of the year the race has become a huge asset for the town attracting riders of all abilities from National Road Series elite/pro teams like African Wildlife Safaris and leading amateurs in all age groups to newcomers for the 14km community ride. All enjoyed closed roads along the stunning scenery of the Great Ocean road, doubling back along Deans Marsh through the Ottoway Ranges in a 120km loop for those entering the full Gran Fondo.
The challenge includes both a challenging finish climb and a 9km 6% climb 35km into the race
We had perfect conditions for the race, with light winds, sun shining and mild temperatures
The cycling vibe was exceptional with encouragement on the climbs and patience & good communication in the large groups who thundered down the great ocean road at 45kmh.
The race is organised by the Amy Gillett Foundation which aims to reduce the incidence of death and injury of bike riders through safety awareness and education with a mission of safe bicycle riding for all Australians and a vision of zero bicycle rider fatalities. The ‘sustainable event ‘ message of Eco Cyclo resonated well with the event, the Amy Gillet organisation and the riders.
t was good of Marlon to take the trouble to hang back a little in the peloton through tactics such as getting off his bike and chatting up the very beautiful Australian version of the red devil (photo to follow!)
Throughout the race he counted around only 15 gel sachets ‘littered’ and most of those appeared to be full that may have fallen out of a pocket whilst the rider retrieved something else. So an excellent attitude by nearly all riders.
Overall the green gang received great exposure - we were caught on TV camera footage at least twice. Marlon and Billy leading the race behind the camera motorbike for the first few kms (luckily no red devil distractions!). There was also an interview with Nick and Marlon after the race. They are expecting a call up from Cycling Central any day now.
All 4 of us as patrollers were asked during the ride multiple times if we are ‘one of those eco patrol guys’ with a clear understanding that they need to ‘do the right thing’. Mission accompished and we had a lot of fun along the way. The Amy Gran Fondo is quite simpy a stunning event and one that will no doubt run a long time - the benchmark of a sustainable event for all.
- Eco Cyclo Team Results:
Nick Gatland 56th (6th in 40-44 categ)
Billy Sykes 131st (23rd in 30-34)
Greg Dickason 717th (158th in 35-39)
Marlon Quinn 1010th (151 in 35-39)
The team are keen to keep the momentum in Australia and to use the positive feedback from Simon and his team to get support from further race organizers of other classic Australian events.