Arriving in Strath Creek for the Preston Mountain Classic, it was 2 degrees and 'Frosty' according to the Car! We drove in via the finish hill, and it I had thoughts of wanting to turn around and go home! Wow it looked steep.
Nevertheless, we kitted up, warmed up (as best as possible!) and headed for the start line.
The womens race was combined with the Mens Masters. A 69km Handicap from Strath Creek, through Yea, around a loop and then straight through Strath Creek finishing up the monster climb. The profile had it at 1800m @ 8.5%, but there were 13% sections and it didn't look fun at all..
The limit bunch rolled out 28 minutes in front of Scratch, with a few strong girls in the bunch, and that was the last we saw of them. We rolled out at 15 Minutes, with a good portion of the womens field in our bunch. We all worked well together rolling turns until the base of the first real climb, where we all started popping one by one. 3 or 4 guys from our bunch stayed away, and the rest of us regrouped and rolled turns until the 11 minute bunch came along. After that it was pretty much all over, rolled turns when I could, we copped some abuse from the old guys for not pulling enough turns, even though we were from the bunch in front... but it was clear we weren't going to catch the leaders and everyone was pretty stuffed.. Made it through town and headed to the final climb just to finish.. 8 minutes caught us just after the base with Jenny Mac powering on past, Scratch also caught not long after and went past us, but the race had been won 15 minutes earlier.
In the end, the last hill was no where near as scary as first though. It wasn't 'fun', but it wasn't the vicious beast we'd been worried about! Although I guess that might have been a bit different had we been really racing up it!
So a good, if disappointing, hit out for my last race in Aus for 3 months.. The last race I'll do before Krasna Lipa 2.2..
Wow! This time next week I'll be in Europe!!!!