‘A Belgian Classic in the Snowy Mountains’.
That’s the reference that came up more than a few times on Saturday as around 1500 riders took the challenge of the second annual Snowy Classic in frigid alpine conditions.
Starting in low single digit temperatures with occasional light icy rain, snow was forecast down to 1700m – around the same altitude as the top of the penultimate climb to Perisher.
Two courses were on offer, the 110km Challenge Classic and 170km Maxi Classic, with both taking in the feared and revered Beloka climb.
‘Team BMC’ – that’s Beer, Mates & Cycling – rider Adrian Mitchell said conditions were “icy cold” at the Perisher turnaround point, and the descent back to Jindabyne was his event highlight.
“One we got back new the Thredbo river it was a dry, beautiful road … the sun came out and it was just dream cycling … fast as,” he said.
A Classics veteran, Adrian told us he’s now completed a staggering 14 events.
“The only one we could’nt get to was 2021 when Anastasia wouldn’t let us into Queensland,” he said.
“I love them – it’s always a good weekend away with fantastic courses, a great village atmosphere and a lot of fun … it’s basically beers, mates and cycling.”
‘Cold & Windy Start’
Also riding the 170km Maxi, Canberran Danielle Blake said it was a tough day out but the “beautiful scenery made it well worth doing.”
“It was cold and windy at the start, and we had a little bit of rain. There was beautiful fog through the valleys and through the trees, it was really lovely.”
“The descent was a lot of fun … until the deer!”
“I was just near the Thredbo River and briefly looked down at my Garmin. I looked up and there was a very large deer crossing the road in front of me!”
“But overall, I was apprehensive at the start of the 170km ride, but I managed it OK and loved it!”
The owner of Pedal’s Plus bike shop in Sydney’s Gordon, Ben Larson was glowing after the epic day out.
“The ride was awesome, the pace was really good,” he told us in the event village after completing the 170km Maxi Classic. “I went with the front bunch and started out with 20km of just bloodletting … then it settled down and got sensible before Beloka. It was cold! I rode in a jacket all the way and had winter gloves on for the first 100km. The roads were amazing! They’ve filled all the potholes and it was clear the council had really looked after the course.
“The highlight would definitely be that climb to Perisher … but I think some of the toughest riding were the ‘little’ climbs back down the descent.
And the descent?
“That was very cold,” he told us. “The guy I rode with couldnt work his shifting at all because his hands were co cold. And he had gloves on! Over the last 20km into Jindabyne basically every rider was shaking his or her hands out trying to get feeling back int them.”
“We’re sitting here having a wine in the sun now. It’s lovely now with the warmth on our backs. But straight after the ride I went to the hotel and stood in the hot shower for 25 minutes …it was tough out there!
Ben Larson had the choice of just about any bike for the170km Classic, so what did he ride?
“I chose the Cervelo S5 today,” he said. “It’s one of those bikes that in a bunch, at high speed, in the wet, with its disc brakes, just offers amazing handling. Yes it has a little bit more weight but I changed the wheels to a 40mm, and fitted a 34T cassette which I’ve never had in my life. And I’m really glad I did! I rode 28mm tyres and it all went very well – I feel they were the right decisions.”
Below are the Top 10 riders for each category – for full results visit This Link Here.
110km Challenge Classic Top 10 Females
|1||Miriam SINNERBRINK (#2024)||03:56:25|
|2||Amelia SHEPHERD-SMITH (#2368)||03:58:23|
|3||Maria SUAREZ (#2422)||04:00:59|
|4||Gaye LYNN (#2616)||04:01:32|
|5||Caroline MCGANN (#2209)||04:03:50|
|6||Megan POSO (#2448)||04:09:45|
|7||Brooke PYE (#2005)||04:11:55|
|8||Jemima PAXTON (#2395)||04:13:43|
|9||Leticia BURTON (#2109)||04:24:30|
|10||Alison MCCORMACK (#2492)||04:24:49|
110 Challenge Classic Top 10 Males
|1||Chris PYE (#2597)||03:17:52|
|2||Nathan BOOTH (#2512)||03:23:06|
|3||David WOODCOCK (#2458)||03:29:35|
|4||John WURTZ (#2488)||03:34:15|
|5||Gary PEARSON (#2511)||03:38:21|
|6||Chris FOGARTY (#2146)||03:38:40|
|7||Carlo BOTTO (#2041)||03:39:16|
|8||Eric MARCHANT (#2606)||03:41:36|
|9||Iain EDGAR (#2388)||03:42:25|
|10||Mark PAGE (#2540)||03:43:53|
170KM Maxi Classic Top 10 Males
|1||Jesse COYLE (#1648)||04:57:22|
|2||Chris MILLER (#1649)||05:02:01|
|3||Nigel SMITH (#1642)||05:07:22|
|4||Andrew EAST (#1527)||05:08:25|
|5||Rod HUTCHINSON (#1862)||05:08:25|
|6||Reece WILLIAMS (#1843)||05:13:43|
|7||Scott BURROW (#1116)||05:13:43|
|8||Dan MARLES (#1285)||05:13:43|
|9||Glen GOGGIN (#1840)||05:17:03|
|10||Nick BLACK (#1090)||05:20:52|
170 Maxi Classic Top 10 Females
|1||Angela GATES (#1499)||05:42:20|
|2||Kristen WILLIAMS (#1443)||06:02:32|
|3||Katie LEE MOWBRAY (#1466)||06:03:54|
|4||Heidi HUNT (#1237)||06:24:13|
|5||Elise BEACHLEY (#1083)||06:29:04|
|6||Torty HOWARD (#1694)||06:31:59|
|7||Dianne GRAHAM (#1010)||06:38:41|
|8||Danni PADGHAM (#1703)||06:58:37|
|9||Barbara HILL (#1224)||07:03:28|
|10||Melany TOOMBS (#1876)||07:07:28|