15 Aug 2018 Grafton to Inverell
As told by MTOSS Racing Team rider, Dan Newman….
In what was my first grafton to Inverell, the bunch of 140 odd starters including team mate and NSW State road champion, Brandon Conway left grafton at 7:15 in cool and calm conditions with clear blue skies.
The first part of the race was quite calm despite efforts for a breakaway to get clear. Around the cattle creek climb 25km in a large group of approx 20 riders got clear and were given a reasonable amount of breathing room, building up 6 minutes advantage by the base of the Gibraltar range.
The climb started reasonably steadily until the riders of St George Continental made there way to the front to whittle down the group. Three quarters of the way up the range & around 20 strong riders had managed to hold the pace set up the climb, catching riders dropped from the break and making up a large portion of time on the break. I managed to make it over the climb with this select group.
Once the climb had been crested small groups of people slowly rejoined the growing group making it to the first feed zone where the beginning of the foul weather had well and truly set in. The race was battered by strong head winds and chilly temperatures. The next feed section of the race saw lots of splits and regrouping between Mt Mitchell and Glen Innes. Personally I found this the most difficult section of the race where winds were the strongest and the race was in the gutter for multiple hours.
Upon reaching Glen Innes I missed my feed bag and was left with only two gels for the final 70km of the race. Not long before Waterloo range the peloton split again and I missed the front, from there our group rolled turns in to the finish for a total of almost 7hours of racing in brutal conditions. I finished in the second group on the road 11:30 down after 228km of racing whilst Unfortunately Brandon had stepped of at the second feed station after battling through crosswinds after rejoining from the back up Gibraltar range.
A great day out, and onto the next race