I finally succumed to my wifes desire to go shopping in Cootamundra on a Saturday morning, therefore I entered the main event on that day rather than my usual recovery event the following day.

I was expecting some rain but luckily it did not develop, but the course itself is quite safe except for a few normal turns at intersections. I was

in the limit group which started first on handicap, some 30 mins in front of the elites, and the riders in my group ranged in age from JW19 through to MMAS9. We headed off at a good steady pace and everyone contributed to the race until some got dropped along the way, and then there were six.

I saw the man with the yellow flag in the distance which indicated the first intermediate sprint. I put my legs into gear and sprinted but got done on the line by half a wheel length by another rider who sat on my wheel the whole time and emerged just before the line. Anyway we continued up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down the hills surrounding Cootamundra. Until I saw the man with the yellow flag again indicating the second intermediate sprint. Once again I put my legs into gear and sprinted for the line, however I was sitting on another riders wheel this time, and emerged heading for the line at great pace thinking I've got it this time, but what I didn't see was the rider attached to my rear wheel who came out of nowhere and overtook me. I got done on the line again by a bike length this time. Tears were welling in my eyes at this tragedy but I carried on. At the 86Klm mark the elites caught our group which disentrageted from peoples attempts to hook onto the wheels of the faster riders. I did not follow due to the onset of some cramps and exhaustion from my previous efforts, and found a group of riders who were riding to the finish rather than racing for it.  Eventually we all finished somewhat tired from this race. This event is one not to be taken lightly. The gradual hills in the area wear you down over the 116Klm event and it is a lot harder than it seems on paper, indeed a very tough ride with an uphill finish. Even though this was not an ADFCC supported event it was great to wear the ADFCC uniform and represent the ADF in Cootamundra.

Cheers from Stan

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