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Race update!

2024 CLOUDRIDE PROLOGUE 500k


The 2024 Cloudride Prologue 500 heads out at 8:00am tomorrow Saturday 9 March. The recent years have seen the winner back at BentSpoke in Braddon inside 24 hours however this years course has some serious work in it and any time under 30 hours will be considered a very slick ride. The predicted daytime temperatures are in the high 20’s so some sea breeze will be welcome as riders make their way north from the turning point in Bermagui.


Plenty of shade in the forest sections but steamy and humid with little breeze on offer will make for challenging ride conditions. A field of 59 starters with Reuben Phillips from the Sunshine Coast Qld and Kim Gontie from Glen Huon in Tas taking out the long distance travel award. Good luck to everyone and ride safe!

Race tracking is here … down load the Maprogress App to your phone and keep abreast of the unfolding race drama….

2024 MONARO CLOUDRIDE 1000

6:00am Good Friday 29 March @ BentSpoke Braddon


This years Cloudride celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the event and I’m delighted to welcome back Nijat Imin to the start list.


Nijat was one of the original riders and finisher in 2014 first edition. It was a brutal course back then. Undeterred Nijat signed on and finished again in 2015 and 2016. To put that accomplishment into perspective there were a total of 37 starters across the three years with only 9 other finishers. The course for each of those years was clockwise so the 2024 course going counter clockwise will be a new experience for Nijat. Nijat and his family moved to Auckland, New Zealand in 2016 and last year they resettled back in Sydney… .. great to have him back on the team sheet.





The 2024 Cloudride field is building nicely with 17 registered riders to date. Amongst them Ollie Penny, Peter McKay and Dean Ansell are getting in some training K’s in the weekends Prologue 500. British rider Jaimi Wilson is our first overseas rider post Covid and comes with some serious bike cred. Jaimi’s been acclimatising out here for several weeks and working on her 'spot the wombat and wallaby' skills. Welcome Jaimi!









Back for a second Cloudride is Tom Moschitz [3rd in 2021] and fresh off the plane from competing in the recent Moroccan Atlas Mountain Race...... scenic Moroccan pic.


I questioned Tom’s 1 x 40t chainring choice for the Cloudride back in 2021 … he tells me he’s down to a 28t this year … dropping two teeth a year as he ages gracefully.


Also backing up for a second Cloudride is Nic Avery after a solid 4th place finish last year. Nic’s been working on his ride/sleep strategy adding a Pairs-Brest-Paris to his CV since last year and managed to go for the 89 hours with only 6 hours of sleep.












2024 TERRA AUSTRALIS

6:00am Sunday 1 September @ Cape York


Last month on the Facebook Bikepacking Ultra Racing Australia page and by direct email to a number of past and prospective riders I floated the idea of a re-think on the North-South Terra Australis race route and consideration to a southern start in mid May. The opening paragraphs are reproduced here. The full text and responses [Steve Halligan, Meredith Quinlan, Taylor Herron and Mike Israel amongst them] are on the Facebook page. I’ll close this post with my conclusions and my decision moving forward....


"Terra Australis …. the dawn of insanity?

I’M PUTTING THIS OUT THERE FOR ANY COMMENTS OR CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE WIDER AUDIENCE.

RACE DIRECTOR: STEVE WATSON


Over the past month I’ve had a catch-up with Terra Australis riders Meredith Quinlan [2022, 2023] Mike Israel [2023] and exchanged some thoughts with Paul Lester [2019, 2022, 2023]

If it hasn’t already arrived it’s becoming a foggy dawn that Terra Australis its nearing that classic definition of insanity … repeating the same thing over again and hoping for a different result.

I’ve always had a somewhat romantic ideal that the ‘top to bottom’ route was the business. Head south as Spring arrives, enjoy the magpies, remnant snow through KNP and a finish at Wilson’s Promotory with civilisation close at hand. The north bound [NOBO] route never seemed to have any legs.

Now, on reflection with the accumulated experience and observation of those who have set out on Terra Australia over the past years the most challenging and debilitating factor is the ever-present oppressive heat in North Qld and the need to manage the body temperature within the context of trying to accumulate 200k a day on a laden bikepacking rig for the 6,300k journey south. Taking shade breaks, wetting down the clothing/body, monitoring HR all add hours to the day and slow the progress. Further south past the halfway point the cooler southern segments of the course offer welcome relief however riders arriving in a depleted physical and mental state and now having to face the mountainous challenges as the route unfolds south is a monumental physical and psychological challenge.

Certainly wiser for the NthQ heat experience and the extraordinary wet season cycle I can see that a possible NOBO start in mid May starts to make more sense and could get riders through to Canberra [in most years] before any serious snow levels through the Victorian Cascades Trail or across to Selwyn in KNP. In an early snow year there are simple alternates via Limestone Rd, Barry Way, Adaminaby if re-routes were necessary."


SUMMARY

The rider comments were most welcome and presented a number of sensible comments/arguments to support both SoBo and NoBo routes. My decision is to continue with the planned 2024 route starting at Cape York. I’ve had several new rider enquiries including two European riders and one confirmed registration from Northern Rivers rider Kenny Mcilwain. Peeps need to book in work leave and firm up plans to prep for a southbound start in September ... so that's it!.


From 2025 I will alternate the route year about so, in 2025 the race route will be northbound starting at Wilsons Prom. Mid May seems the logical timing to clear the alpine snow fields before the snow season sets in and get up into Central Queensland after the wet season with an eta at Cape York mid to late June in modestly ‘cooler’ weather.

Feel free to email me if you have some further comments or observations that haven’t been addressed. For the moment that’s the plan!


As mentioned above Kenny Mcilwain has signed on for TA24 and looks to be the business! Kenny has a deep CV of being a hard bastard and …. importantly has an edge of maturity and life experiences that will stand him in good stead. Welcome Kenny! Kenny's Adventures are on his website.


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