Shipwreck Coast Classic (or why cheese factories should be incorporated into more NRS races)

Today was the final of the national road series for 2011- the Shipwreck Coast Classic in Warrnambool, VIC.The NRS is a long and hard series for cyclists and to ensure that no one wants to do anymore, the last race is traditionally held during Victoria's wettest month in an area known for its windfarms. And Cheese World...


Team VIS were on a mission.

Chloe 'Ranga' McConville, the defending Shipwreck champ, wanted to make sure the 2011 title went to a worthy (and ideally Victorian-based) winner.

Katherine 'Where is the singletrack?' O'Shea, fresh from shaking up the Tour of Langkawi, was tricked into coming with the promise of a side trip to Forrest on the way home.

Kendelle 'Superstar' Hodges had taken a ride in a team car for Melbourne-Warny the day before and needed a lift home.

And I was there because I knew Donna would bring bananas. (Who said there was no money in women's cycling?)

Of course, this is all a lie. All of us except Kendelle were there because we wanted to visit Allansford Cheese World (like Disneyworld, but with more cheese and in Allansford). Kendelle was there because she had inadvertently spent all our prize money from Geelong Tour on shoes and needed some quick cash.

The race itself was decided by a 3-lady breakaway of Grace Sulzberger, Sinead Noonan and our very own Kendelle 'serial shopper' Hodges who got clear at around the 4km mark and stayed away for the remaining 112km. These ladies are 3 of Australia's best cyclists right now and rode an excellent race.

I don't know how much Kendelle spent on shoes but it must have been a lot because she won not only the race but the QOM as well. This is after winning stage 5 of the Honda Tour in a similarly epic breakaway. What a legend.

We also took out the teams' classification for the NRS and got to spray each other with champagne and cheese.


Our biggest disappointment all day was that we did not get to spray Supercoach Donna Rae-Szalinski and mechanic extraordinaire Ryan Moody at the presentations. They have put so much work into us and they should have copped a faceful for it.

A great way to end the NRS.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Gracie Elvin who conducted some helmet impact testing today. Gracie passed but the helmet did not.

Ride happy.