There was a tinge of sadness as the team climbed out of Jindabyne, bidding farewell to the source of the Snowy River that the ride had shadowed and crossed for the prior three days. But also a sense of elation as fresh and refreshed legs joined the team for day 6.
Tour de Chance veteran Graeme Bricknell joined for a Reader’s Digest expurgated version of the epic ride, while it was good to see Jack McCartney back in the saddle after his day three encounter with the bitumen. Terry Goodman swelled the numbers from Cooma, returning by air after a whirlwind trip to Sydney to meet a family commitment.
That still left an arduous day’s 169 kms to come, made a touch harder for Mur de Boloco champ David Clarke, who had swap out his own busted bicycle for the TdC standby
The undulations were pretty much continuous from start to finish, with the duration of the ascents increasing as the countryside moved away from the alpine roof of Australia around Jindabyne to the more open rolling territory from Cooma through to Queanbeyan.
Glenn Dobson enhanced his reputation by stopping his bicycle half way up a long climb to grab the tail of a recently killed kangaroo and pull it off the road
He states it was to make the road safer but most cyclists were left wondering if it was for his next day sandwiches due to the amount he eats while pedalling his bike!
A cool and still opening to the day turned in the afternoon, as hot air moved down from Canberra with increasing vigour. The headwind turned an already tough task into a genuine test of stamina – and will – for the expanded rider team. Once again, chapeaux all round after 10 plus hours on the road.
Day 7 is being classified as the rest day, with only 74kms to ride, including well under 1,000m of climbing.
Numbers will be further bolstered following the arrival of Greg Rector, Tim Smeallie and Dan Powell as fresh riders and tour legend Nev Hedge as support crew emeritus.
Tour fact : The calories burned in excess of normal daily requirements by each team member is around 6000 per day.
Over the tour that combined excess of around 1 million calories will equal the annual calorific intake of two people in the least nourished countries in the world, or 10 months for one average Australian.
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