Five riders registered for the Ipswich 100 this year. Four riders attempting the 100mile and one rider signed on for the 100km (nice one Dan).
It was an early morning wake up (4:30am) to achieve the 6am start time for the Imperial 100. All four riders assembled near the start line for the hero photo. We got underway in the bunch, positioned near the middle and headed through the outskirts of West Ipswich. Rob and Brendan disappeared up the road with the main bunch. Learning the lesson from last year (don’t burn your matches too early), Doug and myself (Nathan) decided to hang back and formed a small group with one other rider.
We were approximately 4km out of Rosewood (at the 27km mark) where a bunch of 10 riders passed us and we joined them. At this stage we began to notice a stiff 30km/h or so headwind. Trundling along our group caught eight or so riders to form a bigger, but still a small, groupetto of 20 riders including Brendan who decided against the fast pace of the main group, dropping back to join up with Doug and I.
At the 45km mark we traversed up a Category 5 hill (approx. 6%) and over some rollers before stopping at the first rest stop at Warrill View (53km in). The fuel was the same as previous years – bananas, buns, watermelons, oranges, water and energy drink. No gels or lollies unfortunately. It was at the stop that Brendan and I started to have second thoughts about the 100mile ride due the headwind and the distance to go spent in the wind. Doug was bemused by the discussion, as he typically loves headwinds. We agreed to ‘see how we were feeling at the 100km turn point’. We filled up our biddons and carried on.
We navigated east for a while as the three of us joined a small group of 10 riders but soon the course took a turn tracking south and into the headwind at the 60km mark. For 5km we were battered again by the wind, creeping along at 20 km/h (no joke). At the 65km turn point, Brendan and I wished Doug well and turned left onto the 100km course. Ashamed, but relived and now battling the crosswind.
It was just the two of us riding together until the finish line.
At 70km we headed north and were able to cruise between 35 to 45 km/h with the wind behind our backs. We briefly stopped at 75km at the feed station at Peaks Crossing to refill water and fuel up – same food as previous. The last 25km rolled past quickly. I remember looking down at the Garmin, cruising along Boonah road at 50km/h (nice!). We crossed the finish line feeling fresh since the previous 25km were not too difficult. The marquees at the finish line were being battered by the wind; merchandise, tomato sauce bottles and paper towels flying around everywhere. We decided to get back to our cars and leave.
Congrats to Doug and Rob ‘the Rocket’ for finishing the Imperial 100 in tough conditions. Well done to Brendan and Dan for getting the job done for the 100km.
Thanks to the ADFC for sponsoring us!