This mornings start was again wet wet wet. Rumours of a polite neutral first 35km were quashed by race organisers on the start line. Hence, it was flag drop and race on from the bog fest that was Koomboolooba campsite. Soon into this stage the flag was not the only thing that was getting dropped as I found myself getting pumped from the first group containing Huber and 5or 6 others on the early undulations. A solid 2nd group convened soon after including team mates Blewitt and Arnott and fellow Aussies Griffin and Ashley from Fitzroy revolutions. A long road section separated two rough dirt sections today. This allowed for a strong session of swap offio to consolidate the gap to those behind and limit our losses on the strong group ahead.
On the long final dirt road section the aptly named “Mt Misery” claimed a few victims. With its steep and seemingly never ending gradient. The final descent with its many creek crossings allowed for a brief return of a smile to the dial. With blue sky in sight and much drier footings, morale amongst the croc crew 2011 had taken a rise. The pleasant ´Telstra´ Terry and his friendly crew were a happy camp after surviving last night’s quagmire. In the race Huber victorious again today consolidating his lead over Milka trek rider Boelen who came in 2nd again. Our group coming in approximately 10th with myself, Arnott, Kiwi Sean and a Belgian rider emerging over the final climb after Griffin collided with a number of riders on the uphill.
The forecast west of the range where we are now based is much more optimistic. The heat and sun this race is renowned for may soon arrive after competitors have been battling wet and cold conditions since the race start in Cairns on Tuesday. A big heads up to the American hand cyclists who made it into camp in the dark and pouring rain with their support crew and their now much respected and renown optimism!