With the lead riders of the Indian Pacific Wheel Race through the most physically demanding section of the event, the mountainous high country of alpine Victoria and New South Wales, they are now on the home stretch to Sydney.
Over the past two days Kristof Allegaert and Mike Hall have been jostling for the lead – race, rest & endurance tactics never having been so critical over the past 13 days.
As of noon Thursday Kristof was in the lead having covered an astonishing 500km over the previous 24hours. He is now close to 150km ahead, but anything can happen in the IPWR.
The leaders are expected at the finish line, outside the Sydney Opera House, sometime on Friday morning. The exact finish time will depend upon whether riders slow, stop or sleep on Thursday night. Bicycling Australia will post updates through the evening and endeavour to bring you a projected finish time.
Ride Into Sydney With The Leaders
As IPWR leader Kristof Allegaert pedals his final few hundred kilometres of the 5500km race across Australia, he was expected to be in Canberra around 5pm Thursday.
Leaving Canberra the route tracks toward Bungendore then north to take in a short section of the Hume Highway. From there riders turn right on the Highland Way towards Bundanoon. It’s then through to Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands, on to Robertson and down Macquarie Pass. They will ride through Wollongong and Scarborough before crossing the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge – then it’s uphill to the Royal National Park and toward the outskirts of Sydney.
Turning left near Sydney Airport, riders will travel the length of the Cooks River Cycleway, crossing to the northern side of the harbour to go through Ryde and Chatswood. They will approach to city via the bike lane on the Harbour Bridge. They’ll turn into The Rocks area, ride under the bridge, and follow George St. They’ll turn left and pass Circular Quay and finally to the steps of the Opera House for the finish.
18yo Lochie Kavanagh Passes 2500km!
The Indian Pacific Wheel Race is not just about those three, indefatigable riders up the pointy end of the pack. Throughout the field, which now stretches from Canberra across to the Nullarbor, are more than 40 riders, each with a lifetime of incredible tales to tell.
One such rider is the youngest participant in the race, 18yo Lochie Kavanagh. Lochie crashed on Wednesday after a gust of wind from a passing road train knocked him off his bike. He’s also suffering intense pain from an internal knee injury.
After covering 2400km, he arrived at Port Augusta and rested there on Wednesday night. As of Thursday morning he was back on his bike and tracking towards Adelaide. Late Thursday afternoon he had completed 2512km and was in the small town of Melrose, about 250km from Adelaide.
For more on this amazing young rider, who wasn’t even a cyclist when he signed up for the Indian Pacific Wheel Race, read our article here.